Estimating dispersal and gene flow in the neotropical freshwater turtle Hydromedusa maximiliani (Chelidae) by combining ecological and genetic methods
Franco L. Souza1
, Anderson F. Cunha2
, Marcos A. Oliveira2
, Gonçalo A.G. Pereira2
and Sérgio F. dos Reis3
Departamento de Biologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.
Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.
Genet. Mol. Biol. vol.25 no.2 São Paulo 2002. [Open Access article]
Hydromedusa maximiliani is a vulnerable neotropical freshwater turtle endemic to mountainous regions of the Atlantic rainforest in southeastern Brazil. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) was used to estimate the gene flow and dispersal for individuals inhabiting rivers and streams within a drainage. Nine primers generated 27 scoreable bands, of which 9 (33%) were polymorphic and produced 12 RAPD phenotypes. The gene flow estimates (Nm) among turtles inhabiting different rivers and streams were variable, ranging from 0.09 to 3.00 (mean: 0.60). For some loci, the rates of gene flow could offset population differentiation (Nm > 1), whereas for others random genetic drift could result in population divergence (Nm < 1). Since the genetic variation of this turtle seems to be structured according to the natural hierarchical system of rivers and streams within drainages, management programs involving translocations between different regions across the geographical range of H. maximiliani should be viewed with caution.
Key words: Hydromedusa maximiliani, dispersal, gene flow, conservation.