2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Influence of Landscape on Genetic Divergence of the Praire Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus arnyi) in Missouri.


MarĂ­a E. Degano♦
Dr. Chad E. Montgomery, Faculty Mentor

Land use change results in habitat fragmentation which threatens population viability. Reptiles are susceptible to effects of fragmentation because limited dispersal and sensitivity to environmental conditions will impact gene flow among populations. Here, I used the spatial distribution of Diadophis punctatus arnyi to examine landscape effects on genetic structure of 8 Missouri populations. I determined genetic distance (Fst) among populations with six microsatellite markers, and tested observed genetic differentiation against alternative resistance surfaces representing biologically plausible hypothesis of landscape resistance. I modeled distance matrices based on movement barriers, distance, roads and land cover permeability through least-cost paths, and evaluated them using a mixed-model maximum-likelihood population-effects approach. The Missouri River most significantly affected genetic isolation of populations, followed by roads, wetlands and permanent water, and urban areas. My study sheds light on resistance to movement in Ring-necked Snakes due to land use changes.

Keywords: landscape resistance, landscape genetics, linear mixed effects, reptiles, microsatellites, Diadophis punctatus arnyi, population genetics

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 208-2
Location: MC 209
Time: 10:30

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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