Low genetic diversity and limited genetic structure across the range of the critically endangered Mexican howler monkey (Alouatta palliata mexicana)

Melo-Carrillo, Adrian and Dunn, Jacob C. and Cortes-Ortiz, Liliana (2020) Low genetic diversity and limited genetic structure across the range of the critically endangered Mexican howler monkey (Alouatta palliata mexicana). American Journal of Primatology, 82 (8). e23160. ISSN 1098-2345

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23160

Abstract

Genetic diversity provides populations with the possibility to persist in ever‐changing environments, where selective regimes change over time. Therefore, the long‐term survival of a population may be affected by its level of genetic diversity. The Mexican howler monkey (Alouatta palliata mexicana ) is a critically endangered primate restricted to southeast Mexico. Here, we evaluate the genetic diversity and population structure of this subspecies based on 83 individuals from 31 groups sampled across the distribution range of the subspecies, using 29 microsatellite loci. Our results revealed extremely low genetic diversity (H O = 0.21, H E = 0.29) compared to studies of other A. palliata populations and to other Alouatta species. Principal component analysis, a Bayesian clustering method, and analyses of molecular variance did not detect strong signatures of genetic differentiation among geographic populations of this subspecies. Although we detect small but significant F ST values between populations, they can be explained by a pattern of isolation by distance. These results and the presence of unique alleles in different populations highlight the importance of implementing conservation efforts in multiple populations across the distribution range of A. p. mexicana to preserve its already low genetic diversity. This is especially important given current levels of population isolation due to the extreme habitat fragmentation across the distribution range of this primate.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Conservation genetics, isolation by distance, microsatellites, neotropical primate, population structure
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2020 10:48
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:52
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705626

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