Genetic Connectivity in Conservation of Freshwater Insects

  • Drielly da Silveira Queiroga
  • Renan Fernandes Moura
  • Jessica Ware


Ecosystems and species are disappearing fast and the conservation of isolated and fragmented landscapes is not enough to maintain healthy populations. However, populations from fragmented and impacted landscapes may be benefited if there are pathways allowing their connection. These pathways enable the exchange of individuals, allowing species to increase their genetic diversity and resilience to stochastic events by recolonization and phenotypic adaptations. In aquatic ecosystems, climate changes and water exploration are impacting the species’ capability to disperse among populations and survival. In this scenario, aquatic insects are even more threatened as most of them have terrestrial and aquatic life stages, suffering impacts from both environments. Focusing in this aspect, this chapter aims to provide an initial insight about how population connectivity can be used in conservation strategies as well as methods of measuring genetic connectivity. Here we selected studies with odonates, ephemeropterans, and other aquatic insects to exemplify how river dynamics can influence the direction of gene flow and dispersal patterns of individuals, besides showing the main approaches used in this study area. By contributing to the understanding of this necessary field, we hope to stimulate new researchers to engage in the conservation of aquatic insects.


Conservation genetics Endangered arthropods Entomology Habitat fragmentation Molecular markers 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Drielly da Silveira Queiroga
    • 1
  • Renan Fernandes Moura
    • 2
  • Jessica Ware
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of São Paulo (USP)Ribeirão PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de Uberlândia – UFU – Centro de Estudos do Cerrado/Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental e de Interações (LECI)UberlândiaBrazil
  3. 3.Biology DepartmentRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

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