Low genetic diversity of a high mountain burnet moth species in the Pyrenees
- 350 Downloads
The burnet moth Zygaena anthyllidis, endemic to the high elevations of the Pyrenees, is vulnerable to land-use. In order to identify conservation priorities based on an assessment of genetic diversity within populations and gene flow among populations, we examined Z. anthyllidis’ genetic variability and differentiation based on allozyme electrophoresis from seven populations scattered across its entire range. In comparison to other mountain Lepidoptera, the populations studied exhibit a low level of genetic diversity. Remarkable between-population differentiation (F ST = 0.053), the presence of private alleles, and the lack of significant isolation-by-distance pattern characterises the genetic make-up of the species. We interpreted the pattern of genetic differentiation as a consequence of low dispersal power in combination with insufficient landscape connectivity. Ongoing land-use change might reinforce genetic differentiation due to habitat fragmentation and additionally affect negatively allozyme variability at shifting range margins, i.e. the capacity to adapt to changing environments. We therefore suggest creating a network of suitable habitats at the landscape scale to facilitate genetic exchange and to conserve the species’ overall genetic variability.
KeywordsAllozymes Conservation genetics Genetic diversity Genetic differentiation Pyrenees Zygaena anthyllidis
We are grateful to the respective authorities for the necessary permissions. PD was funded by the Scholarship Programme AFR of the National Research Fund (FNR), Luxembourg. Furthermore, we thank the National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg for financial support.
- Batllori E, Camarero JJ, Gutiérrez E (2010) Current regeneration patterns at the tree line in the Pyrenees indicate similar recruitment processes irrespective of the past disturbance regime. J Biogeogr 37:1938–1950Google Scholar
- Castric V, Bonney F, Bernatchez L (2001) Landscape structure and hierarchial genetic diversity in the brook charr, Salvelinus fontinalis. Evolution 55:1016–1028Google Scholar
- Excoffier L, Laval G, Schneider S (2005) Arlequin ver. 3.0: an integrated software package for population genetics data analysis. Evol Bioinform Online 1:47–50Google Scholar
- Forister ML, McCall AC, Sanders NJ, Fordyce JA, Thorne JH, O’Brien J, Waetjen DP, Shapiro AM (2010) Compounded effects of climate change and habitat alteration shift patterns of butterfly diversity. PNAS 107:2088–2092Google Scholar
- Hebert PDN, Beaton MJ (eds) (1993) Methodologies for allozyme analysis using cellulose acetate electrophoresis. Helena Laboratories, BeaumontGoogle Scholar
- Lenoir J, Gégout J-C, Guisan A, Vittoz P, Wohlgemuth T, Zimmermann NE, Dullinger S, Pauli H, Willner W, Jens-Christian S (2010) Going against the flow: potential mechanisms for unexpected downslope range shifts in a warming climate. Ecography 33:295–303Google Scholar
- MacDonald D, Crabtree JR, Wiesinger G, Dax T, Stamou N, Fleury P, Gutierrez Lazpita J, Gibon A (2000) Agricultural abandonment in mountain areas of Europe: environmental consequences and policy response. J Environ Manag 59:47–69Google Scholar
- Porter AH, Shapiro AM (1989) Genetics and biogeography of the Oeneis chryxus complex (Satyrinae) in California. J Res Lepidoptera 28:263–276Google Scholar
- Schmitt T, Haubrich K (2008) The genetic structure of the mountain forest butterfly Erebia euryale unravels the late Pleistocene and postglacial history of the mountain coniferous forest biome in Europe. Mol Ecol 17:2194–2207Google Scholar
- R Development Core Team (2011) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. http://www.R-project.org, downloaded June 18, 2011