Do landscape barriers affect functional connectivity of populations of an endangered damselfly?
Article first published online: 20 APR 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 57, Issue 7, pages 1373–1384, July 2012
How to Cite
KELLER, D., VAN STRIEN, M. J. and HOLDEREGGER, R. (2012), Do landscape barriers affect functional connectivity of populations of an endangered damselfly?. Freshwater Biology, 57: 1373–1384. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2012.02797.x
- Issue published online: 8 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 20 APR 2012
- (Manuscript accepted 22 March 2012)
- landscape genetics;
1. Landscape genetic approaches were used to assess functional connectivity of populations of the endangered damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale in a fragmented agricultural landscape in Switzerland. Spatial genetic clustering methods combined with interpolation by kriging and landscape genetic corridor analysis were applied to identify landscape elements that enhance or hinder dispersal and gene flow.
2. Spatial genetic clustering analysis divided the sampled populations into a northern and a southern genetic group. The boundary between the two groups coincided with a hill ridge intersecting the study area. Landscape corridor analysis identified five landscape elements that significantly affected gene flow. Elevation change, Euclidian distance, patches of forest and flowing waterbodies acted as barriers, whereas open agricultural land enhanced gene flow between populations of C. mercuriale.
3. This study showed that movement of C. mercuriale was not restricted to its preferred habitat (i.e. streams). Populations linked via continuous open agricultural land were functionally well connected if they were not more than about 1.5–2 km apart. In contrast, substantial elevation change and larger forest patches separated populations. These findings may serve as a basis to define conservation units and should be considered when planning connectivity measures, such as determining the locations of stepping stones, or the restoration of streams.