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Allochthonous individuals in managed populations of the fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina genetic detection and conservation implications

  • The ongoing global amphibian decline calls for an increase of habitat and population management efforts. Pond restoration and construction is more and more accompanied by breeding and translocation programs. However, the appropriateness of translocations as a tool for conservation has been widely debated, as it can cause biodiversity loss through genetic homogenization and can disrupt local adaptation, eventually leading to outbreeding depression. In this study, we investigated the genetic structure of two translocated populations of the critically endangered fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina at its north western distribution edge using supposedly neutral genetic markers (variation in the mitochondrial control region and microsatellites) as well as a marker under selection (major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes). While one of the newly established populations showed the typical genetic composition of surrounding populations, the other was extremely diverged without clear affinity to its putative source. In this population weThe ongoing global amphibian decline calls for an increase of habitat and population management efforts. Pond restoration and construction is more and more accompanied by breeding and translocation programs. However, the appropriateness of translocations as a tool for conservation has been widely debated, as it can cause biodiversity loss through genetic homogenization and can disrupt local adaptation, eventually leading to outbreeding depression. In this study, we investigated the genetic structure of two translocated populations of the critically endangered fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina at its north western distribution edge using supposedly neutral genetic markers (variation in the mitochondrial control region and microsatellites) as well as a marker under selection (major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes). While one of the newly established populations showed the typical genetic composition of surrounding populations, the other was extremely diverged without clear affinity to its putative source. In this population we detected a profound impact of allochthonous individuals: 100% of the analyzed individuals exhibited a highly divergent mitochondrial haplotype which was otherwise found in Austria. 83% of them were also assigned to Austria by the analysis of microsatellites. Interestingly, for the adaptive marker (MHC) local alleles were predominant in this population, while only very few alleles were shared with the Austrian population. Probably Mendelian inheritance has reshuffled genotypes such that adaptive local alleles are maintained (here, MHC), while presumably neutral allochthonous alleles dominate at other loci. The release of allochthonous individuals generally increased the genetic variability of the affected population without wiping out locally adaptive genotypes. Thus, outbreeding depression might be less apparent than sometimes thought and natural selection appears strong enough to maintain locally adaptive alleles, at least in functionally important immune system genes.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Christiane Schröder, Ina Pokorny, Nicola Dolgener, Christoph Herden, Hauke Drews, Ralph TiedemannORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.limno.2012.08.008
ISSN:0075-9511 (print)
Parent Title (English):Limnologica : ecology and management of inland waters
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:Jena
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Bombina bombina; MHC; Microsatellites; Mitochondrial DNA; Population management; Translocation
Volume:42
Issue:4
Pagenumber:8
First Page:291
Last Page:298
Funder:European Union (EU-LIFE); University of Potsdam
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert