Conservation Genetics

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 61–73 | Cite as

Population genetics of Blanding’s turtle (Emys blandingii) in the midwestern United States

  • Arun Sethuraman
  • Suzanne E. McGaugh
  • Morgan L. Becker
  • Christopher H. Chandler
  • James L. Christiansen
  • Sue Hayden
  • Andrea LeClere
  • Jennifer Monson-Miller
  • Erin M. Myers
  • Ryan T. Paitz
  • Jeanine M. Refsnider
  • Terry J. VanDeWalle
  • Fredric J. Janzen
Research Article

Abstract

Blanding’s turtle (Emys blandingii) has declined substantially in North America due to anthropogenic activities, leaving populations smaller and increasingly fragmented spatially. We sampled 212 turtles to evaluate variation at eight microsatellite loci within and among 18 populations of E. blandingii across its primary range in the midwestern United States (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska). All loci and populations were highly polymorphic. Our analyses also detected considerable genetic structure within and among the sampled localities, and revealed ancestral gene flow of E. blandingii in this region north and east from an ancient refugium in the central Great Plains, concordant with post-glacial recolonization timescales. The data further implied unexpected ‘links’ between geographically disparate populations in Nebraska and Illinois. Our study encourages conservation decisions to be mindful of the genetic uniqueness of populations of E. blandingii across its primary range.

Keywords

North American phylogeography Population genetics Gene flow Turtles 

Supplementary material

10592_2013_521_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (751 kb)
Supplementary material (PDF 751 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arun Sethuraman
    • 1
  • Suzanne E. McGaugh
    • 2
  • Morgan L. Becker
    • 1
  • Christopher H. Chandler
    • 3
  • James L. Christiansen
    • 4
  • Sue Hayden
    • 5
  • Andrea LeClere
    • 6
  • Jennifer Monson-Miller
    • 7
  • Erin M. Myers
    • 8
  • Ryan T. Paitz
    • 9
  • Jeanine M. Refsnider
    • 10
  • Terry J. VanDeWalle
    • 11
  • Fredric J. Janzen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Organismal BiologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesState University of New YorkOswegoUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologyDrake UniversityDes MoinesUSA
  5. 5.McHenry County Conservation DistrictRichmondUSA
  6. 6.Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  7. 7.Program in Law, Health, and the Life SciencesUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  8. 8.Department of Biology & BiochemistryUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  9. 9.School of Biological SciencesIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA
  10. 10.Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  11. 11.Stantec Consulting Services Inc.IndependenceUSA

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