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Population Genetic Structure of the Prairie Skink (Eumeces septentrionalis): Nested Clade Analysis of

Summary: Population Genetic Structure of the Prairie Skink
(Eumeces septentrionalis): Nested Clade Analysis of
Post Pleistocene Populations
Biology Department, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, 58202-9019, USA
ABSTRACT.--We sequenced two regions of the mitochondrial genome, ND4 and d-loop, from 64 Eumeces
septentrionalis to assess intra- and interspecific population differentiation. We constructed haplotype
genealogies for nine Eumeces septentrionalis septentrionalis populations in previously glaciated regions and
used nested clade analysis to examine the role of vicariance and dispersal in shaping the population structure
of E. s. septentrionalis in the northern part of its range following Pleistocene paleoclimatological events. In
addition, we used DNA sequence data to compare populations of the northern subspecies (E. s.
septentrionalis) with the southern subspecies (Eumeces septentrionalis obtusirostris) to determine whether
specific level differentiation is evident. For populations of E. septentrionalis in previously glaciated areas,
nested clade analyses revealed isolation by distance with restricted gene flow at both haplotype and upper
clade levels as the inferred geographical pattern reflecting the lack of overlapping haplotypes in distant
populations. These results suggest that colonization of E. septentrionalis into previously glaciated areas was
from a single source with restricted gene flow. These results do not support past population fragmentation or
colonization from multiple, genetically distinct source populations. Parsimony and maximum likelihood
phylogenetic analyses showed reciprocal monophyly between northern (E. s. septentrionalis) and southern (E.


Source: Austin, Christopher C. - Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology