Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Christina Fridgen, Laura Finnegan, Christopher Reaume, Joe Cebek, Jim Trottier, Paul Wilson
Canada Herpetological Conservation and Biology   unpublished
isolated and peripheral populations of declining species are increasingly a focus of conservation action. using five polymorphic microsatellite loci, we investigated the age specific and spatial genetic structure of Wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) in ontario. We found genetic structure was significant between all populations (f st 0.12-0.22; d 0.204-0.392). Bayesian clustering resolved two genetic clusters that separated the population in the north from all other samples. We found high
more » ... We found high levels of genetic diversity and low inbreeding coefficients in three of our populations (H e = 0.65; f is = 0.062); however, the southern population that had experienced the largest declines in the past had the lowest levels of heterozygosity and highest levels of inbreeding (H o = 0.460; f is = 0.328). our preliminary comparison of data among age cohorts in the central population found generally lower, but not significant (p > 0.3), levels of genetic diversity in the youngest age group. Genetic diversity in these younger cohorts was comparable to levels in the southern population. our results illustrate the potential effect of population isolation on genetic variability and structure of Wood turtles; as well as, suggest the importance of investigations at different age-scales in the future to reveal such patterns in species with long generation times.