Drivers of connectivity for two frog species from the U.S. Pacific Northwest

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Landscape genetics illustrate how landscape features influence species connectivity and can provide insights for species conservation efforts;however, factors that influence connectivity vary considerably, even among species occupying similar landscapes.

University and USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) scientists studied whether species traits, such as dispersal tactics, could predict connectivity in related species versus environmental factors, such as moisture. They compared Oregon and Columbia spotted frogs from six regions in Oregon and Idaho that vary in precipitation, moisture gradient, and temperature. They found species traits better predicted connectivity than environmental variation. Also, information on connectivity from one region may be a poor surrogate for inferring connectivity in a related species or different region. Managers working on species conservation efforts might consider species- and region-specific landscape genetic studies to account for the high level of variability between regions and species.

 

Robertson, J.M., Murphy, M.A., Pearl, C.A., Adams, M.J., Páez-Vacas, M.I., Haig, S.M., Pilliod, D.S., Storfer, A., Funk, W., 2018, Regional variation in drivers of connectivity for two frog species (Rana pretiosa and R. luteiventris) from the U.S. Pacific Northwest: Molecular Ecology, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.14798

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