SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Populations of the bog fritillary butterfly Proclossiana eunomia (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) occur in patchy habitat in central and western Europe. P. eunomia is a vulnerable species in the Belgian Ardennes and the number of occupied sites has significantly decreased in this region since the 1960s. RAPD (random amplified polymorphic DNA) markers were used to study the consequences of habitat loss and fragmentation on the genetic population structure of this species. Gene diversity was lower in populations with smaller population sizes. Genetic subdivision was high (Fst=0.0887) considering the small spatial scale of this study (150 km2). The most geographically isolated population was also the most genetically differentiated one. The genetic population structure and genetic differentiation detected in this study were explained by (1) differences in altitude of the sampled locations and, (2) lower dispersal propensity and dispersal rate in fragmented landscapes versus continuous landscapes. Results from the RAPD analyses were compared with a previous allozyme based study on the same populations. The results of this study suggest that increased fragmentation has lead to a greater genetic differentiation between remaining P. eunomia populations.