Human influence on the population decline and loss of genetic diversity in a small and isolated population of Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana)
- 615 Downloads
Human activities have caused worldwide loss and fragmentation of natural habitats, resulting in the decline and isolation of wild populations, consequently increasing their risks of extinctions. We investigated the genetic consequences of anthropogenic effects on the Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in the Shennongjia Nature Reserve (SNR), which is a small and isolated distribution of R. roxellana in China and would continue to be threatened by habitat degradation and loss, using extensive sampling and 16 microsatellite loci. High level of genetic variation was observed from 202 individuals collected from three R. roxellana populations (SNR population, Sichuan-Gansu population and Shaanxi population). However, R. roxellana in SNR showed the lowest genetic diversity. The likelihood analysis of migration/drift equilibrium indicated that the SNR population suffered much stronger effect of drift than the other two populations, indicating that small populations are prone to be affected by drift. The STRUCTURE analysis identified two clusters, separating the SNR population from the other two populations, suggesting an increasing drift-induced differentiation between SNR and the other two populations. Bottleneck tests revealed that R. roxellana in SNR experienced a severe population decline (37-fold) during the past 500 years as a consequence of human population expansion. The current effective population size (Ne) in SNR is less than 100 and the ratio of Ne to the census population size is approximately 0.08. Based on our findings, we suggest that the SNR population should be monitored systematically and considered as an important conservation and management unit.
KeywordsRhinopithecus roxellana Microsatellite Genetic diversity Bottleneck Human activities
This project was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31130061), the Project of Public Benefit (No. 201104073), National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program: 2007CB411600), the Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KSCX2-YW-R-091), Hubei Province Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology of Shennongjia Golden Monkey, and the joint doctoral program of the Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Z-F. C.). We thank Dr. K. Guschanski for experimental guidance. We also thank G. Schubert, M. Arandjelovic, K. Langergraber, J. Bhagavatula, L. F. Zhu, and Y. B. Hu for helpful discussions.
- Belkhir K, Borsa P, Chikhi L, et al (1996–2004) Genetix 4.05, logiciel sous Windows TM pour la génétique des populations. Laboratoire Génome, Populations, Interactions, CNRS UMR 5171, Université de Montpellier II, Montpellier, FranceGoogle Scholar
- Goudet J (2001) FSTAT, a program to estimate and test gene diversities and fixation indices (version 2.9.3). Available from http://www.unil.ch/izea/softwares/fstat.html
- Jeffreys H (1961) Theory of probability third edition. Oxford classic texts in the physical sciences. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Park SDE (2001) Trypanotolerance in West African Cattle and the population genetic effects of selection [Ph.D. thesis] University of DublinGoogle Scholar
- Quan GQ, Xie JH (2002) Research on the golden monkeys. Science and Education Publishing House, BeijingGoogle Scholar
- Sambrook J, Fritsch EF, Maniatis T (1989) Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual, 2nd edn. Cold Spring Harbor Press, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring HarborGoogle Scholar
- Sun T, Wang BS, Liu ZJ et al (2010) Identification and characterization of microsatellite markers via cross-species amplification from François’ langur (Trachypithecus francoisi). Acta Theriologica Sinica 30:351–353Google Scholar
- Zhang RZ, Chen LW, Qu YW et al (2002) The primates of China: biogeography and conservation status—past, present and future. Edit by Department of Wildlife Conservation, State Forestry Administration, the People’s Republic of China. China Forestry Publishing House, BeijingGoogle Scholar
- Zhu ZQ (2003) Ecological research of golden monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in Shennongjia Nature Reserve. Hubei For Sci Tech Z1:46–52 (in Chinese)Google Scholar