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John J. Andersen, David S. Portnoy, John C. Hafner and Jessica E. Light Populations at risk: conservation genetics of kangaroo mice (Microdipodops) of the Great Basin Desert Ecology and Evolution 3

Article first published online: 26 JUN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.637

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The Great Basin Desert of western North America has experienced frequent habitat alterations due to a complex biogeographic history and recent anthropogenic impacts, with the more recent alterations likely resulting in the decline of native fauna and flora. Herein, newly acquired nuclear-encoded microsatellite loci were utilized to assess patterns of variation within and among spatially discrete groups of the dark (Microdipodops megacephalus) and pallid (M. pallidus) kangaroo mouse, and to evaluate gene flow, demographic trends, and genetic integrity. Results of this study indicate that each Microdipodops group should be recognized, and therefore managed, as a separate unit in an effort to conserve these highly specialized taxa that contribute to the diversity of the Great Basin Desert ecosystem (photo credit J. C. Hafner).

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