From the conservation point of view, the order Odonata is among the most thoroughly studied insect groups. This is because odonates are widely acknowledged as biological indicators (Foote and Rice 2005; Rouquette and Thompson 2005). Accordingly, many Odonata (and Lepidoptera) are flag species for conservation in some countries. This chapter evaluates the genetic diversity and population structuring of two species of Odonata (Insecta) occurring in Northwest Iberia: Macromia splendens (Pictet 1843) and Oxygastra curtisii (Dale 1834). These species are classified as endangered by different administrations

Department of Ecology and Animal Biology, University of Vigo, EUET Forestal, Campus Universitario, E-36006 Pontevedra, Spain e-mail: [email protected]

M. Vila

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of La Coruña, Faculty of Sciences, Campus Zapateira, E-15008 La Coruña, Spain

J.C. Habel and T. Assmann (eds.), Relict Species: Phylogeography and Conservation Biology, 295 DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-92160-8_17, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

(Sahlen et al. 2004), but data on their genetic diversity and population structure supporting such a categorization are lacking.

Conservation genetics of insects is a burgeoning scientific field (e.g., Legge et al. 1996; Gadeberg and Boomsma 1997; Rasplus et al. 2001; Jonsson et al. 2003; Lai and Pullin 2004). However, there are a few conservation genetic surveys specifically addressing dragonflies and damselflies (e.g., Watts et al. 2004, 2005a; 2006, 2007; Hadrys et al. 2006; Thompson and Watts 2006). As in most insect groups, the intensive development of highly variable molecular markers (e.g., Hadrys et al. 2005; Keat et al. 2005; Giere and Hadrys 2006; Lorenzo Carballa et al. 2007) and non-invasive techniques (Watts et al. 2005b) will soon provide a great amount of valuable data for nature conservation.

This work is the first population genetics survey on M. splendens and O. curtisii, two protected Odonata species. We aimed at (1) describing their genetic diversity and (2) estimating their degree of population structure. To achieve this, we screened the fine-scale genetic pattern showed by these species in several Northwest Iberian sampling sites. We used the Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RAPD-PCR) markers.

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