The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 01. Genetic contributions to herpetofauna conservation in the British Isles


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pp. 51-62

Authors: Trevor J. C. Beebee

Abstract: The use of molecular genetic markers is considered in the context of their application to conservation of amphibians and reptiles in the British Isles. Aspects reviewed include population viability, connectivity and origins together with developments in molecular identification. Genetic diversity measures are not in themselves sufficient to identify risks of inbreeding or genetic erosion in the absence of direct measures of individual fitness. Neutral markers are however useful for defining populations, the extent of migration between them and the identification of permeable habitat corridors. Phylogeography has resolved previously uncertain origins of several populations and species found in the British Isles, including Pelophylax lessonae, Bufo calamita and Triturus cristatus. Molecular studies have clarified the species status of toads Bufo bufo, B. spinosus, and grass snakes Natrix helvetica in the British Isles and provided methods for species and clade identifications where this is difficult using morphology alone. DNA-based techniques have revealed the distributions of viral and fungal pathogens and environmental DNA (eDNA) has proved its worth as a technique for surveying pond-breeding amphibians.

Key words: DNA, genetics, amphibians, reptiles, conservation, British Isles

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