Population genetic diversity of the endemic Sardinian newt Euproctus platycephalus: implications for conservation
Lecis, R. and Norris, K. (2004) Population genetic diversity of the endemic Sardinian newt Euproctus platycephalus: implications for conservation. Biological Conservation, 119. pp. 263-270. ISSN 0006-3207
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2003.11.011
The Sardinian mountain newt Euproctus platycephalus, endemic to the island of Sardinia, (Italy), is considered a rare and threatened species and is classed as critically endangered by IUCN. It inhabits streams, small lakes and pools on the main mountain systems of the island. Threats from climatic and anthropogenic factors have raised concerns for the long-term survival of newt populations on the island. MtDNA sequencing was used to investigate the genetic population structure and phylogeography of this endemic species. Patterns of genetic variation were assessed by sequencing the complete Dloop region and part of the 12SrRNA, from 74 individuals representing four different populations. Analyses of molecular variance suggest that populations are significantly differentiated, and the distribution of haplotypes across the island shows strong geographical structuring. However, phylogenetic analyses also suggest that the Sardinian population consists of two distinct mtDNA groups, which may reflect ancient isolation and expansion events. Population structure, evolutionary history of the species and implications for the conservation of newt populations are discussed.