Genetic analysis reveals the costs of peri-urban development for the endangered grassland earless dragon

Marion Hoehn, Wendy Dimond, William Osborne, Stephen SARRE

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Australia’s natural temperate grasslands have diminished to 0.5 % of their former area since European settlement and, as a consequence, are highly fragmented and modified. Many vertebrate species that live in temperate grasslands are habitat specialists and therefore are at risk of decline through habitat loss and fragmentation. The grassland earless dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla) is one such species. Once widespread, T. pinguicolla is now restricted to two general locations; the first is near Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (including some adjacent land near Queanbeyan), and the second is the Monaro Tablelands in New South Wales. Here, we use microsatellite DNA data collected from the largest remaining populations near Canberra to examine genetic structure in this species in the context of the rapidly expanding urban landscape in this region. Our study revealed that, despite separation by only relatively small distances (largest distance*13 km), the T. pinguicolla populations are highly genetically structured with little admixture. Our analyses also revealed that the population with the largest census size, but which has recently crashed in population size, exhibited little detectable gene flow to other populations and is essentially isolated. Our data indicate that significant barriers to dispersal exist among the remaining T. pinguicolla populations and that management of this species cannot rely on natural dispersal to bolster declining populations. Many different agencies and landholders are responsible for the protection of these remnant populations and a co-ordinated effort is required to provide reasonable confidence that the species will persist.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1269-1278
    Number of pages10
    JournalConservation Genetics
    Volume14
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    Urban Renewal
    urban development
    genetic analysis
    genetic techniques and protocols
    grasslands
    grassland
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    cost
    Population
    Ecosystem
    Australian Capital Territory
    habitat loss
    habitat fragmentation
    genetic structure
    gene flow
    population size
    New South Wales
    census
    Gene Flow
    Genetic Structures

    Cite this

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    title = "Genetic analysis reveals the costs of peri-urban development for the endangered grassland earless dragon",
    abstract = "Australia’s natural temperate grasslands have diminished to 0.5 {\%} of their former area since European settlement and, as a consequence, are highly fragmented and modified. Many vertebrate species that live in temperate grasslands are habitat specialists and therefore are at risk of decline through habitat loss and fragmentation. The grassland earless dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla) is one such species. Once widespread, T. pinguicolla is now restricted to two general locations; the first is near Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (including some adjacent land near Queanbeyan), and the second is the Monaro Tablelands in New South Wales. Here, we use microsatellite DNA data collected from the largest remaining populations near Canberra to examine genetic structure in this species in the context of the rapidly expanding urban landscape in this region. Our study revealed that, despite separation by only relatively small distances (largest distance*13 km), the T. pinguicolla populations are highly genetically structured with little admixture. Our analyses also revealed that the population with the largest census size, but which has recently crashed in population size, exhibited little detectable gene flow to other populations and is essentially isolated. Our data indicate that significant barriers to dispersal exist among the remaining T. pinguicolla populations and that management of this species cannot rely on natural dispersal to bolster declining populations. Many different agencies and landholders are responsible for the protection of these remnant populations and a co-ordinated effort is required to provide reasonable confidence that the species will persist.",
    keywords = "Habitat fragmentation, Native temperate, grasslands, Grassland earless dragon, Microsatellites, Spatial autocorrelation, Recent effective population size",
    author = "Marion Hoehn and Wendy Dimond and William Osborne and Stephen SARRE",
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    Genetic analysis reveals the costs of peri-urban development for the endangered grassland earless dragon. / Hoehn, Marion; Dimond, Wendy; Osborne, William; SARRE, Stephen.

    In: Conservation Genetics, Vol. 14, 2013, p. 1269-1278.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Genetic analysis reveals the costs of peri-urban development for the endangered grassland earless dragon

    AU - Hoehn, Marion

    AU - Dimond, Wendy

    AU - Osborne, William

    AU - SARRE, Stephen

    PY - 2013

    Y1 - 2013

    N2 - Australia’s natural temperate grasslands have diminished to 0.5 % of their former area since European settlement and, as a consequence, are highly fragmented and modified. Many vertebrate species that live in temperate grasslands are habitat specialists and therefore are at risk of decline through habitat loss and fragmentation. The grassland earless dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla) is one such species. Once widespread, T. pinguicolla is now restricted to two general locations; the first is near Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (including some adjacent land near Queanbeyan), and the second is the Monaro Tablelands in New South Wales. Here, we use microsatellite DNA data collected from the largest remaining populations near Canberra to examine genetic structure in this species in the context of the rapidly expanding urban landscape in this region. Our study revealed that, despite separation by only relatively small distances (largest distance*13 km), the T. pinguicolla populations are highly genetically structured with little admixture. Our analyses also revealed that the population with the largest census size, but which has recently crashed in population size, exhibited little detectable gene flow to other populations and is essentially isolated. Our data indicate that significant barriers to dispersal exist among the remaining T. pinguicolla populations and that management of this species cannot rely on natural dispersal to bolster declining populations. Many different agencies and landholders are responsible for the protection of these remnant populations and a co-ordinated effort is required to provide reasonable confidence that the species will persist.

    AB - Australia’s natural temperate grasslands have diminished to 0.5 % of their former area since European settlement and, as a consequence, are highly fragmented and modified. Many vertebrate species that live in temperate grasslands are habitat specialists and therefore are at risk of decline through habitat loss and fragmentation. The grassland earless dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla) is one such species. Once widespread, T. pinguicolla is now restricted to two general locations; the first is near Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (including some adjacent land near Queanbeyan), and the second is the Monaro Tablelands in New South Wales. Here, we use microsatellite DNA data collected from the largest remaining populations near Canberra to examine genetic structure in this species in the context of the rapidly expanding urban landscape in this region. Our study revealed that, despite separation by only relatively small distances (largest distance*13 km), the T. pinguicolla populations are highly genetically structured with little admixture. Our analyses also revealed that the population with the largest census size, but which has recently crashed in population size, exhibited little detectable gene flow to other populations and is essentially isolated. Our data indicate that significant barriers to dispersal exist among the remaining T. pinguicolla populations and that management of this species cannot rely on natural dispersal to bolster declining populations. Many different agencies and landholders are responsible for the protection of these remnant populations and a co-ordinated effort is required to provide reasonable confidence that the species will persist.

    KW - Habitat fragmentation

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    KW - Microsatellites

    KW - Spatial autocorrelation

    KW - Recent effective population size

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    JF - Conservation Genetics

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    ER -