Genetic diversity and structure of Artibeus jamaicensis in the fragmented landscape of el salvador

Melissa E. Rodríguez, Jorge Ortega, Gustavo Gutiérrez-Espeleta, J. Edgardo Arévalo, Bernal Rodríguez-Herrera

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


© Smithsonian Institution 2020. El Salvador is the most deforested country in Central America, where forest remnants are immersed in an agricultural matrix (mainly pastures or shade coffee), which reduces habitat suitability for native wildlife. Habitat loss affects species dispersal, increases isolation and in some cases can lead to genetic structure. In order to quantify the genetic diversity and structure of Artibeus jamaicensis, we collected wing tissue samples of 100 individuals from three tropical forest remnants surrounded by shade coffee (n = 49), and three surrounded by pastures (n = 51).We genotyped ten species-specific microsatellites and observed that the heterozygosity (HO = 0.554 ± 0.013, HE = 0.726 ± 0.008) was moderate compared with other studies of the same species.We found no differences in heterozygosity among forest remnants embedded in the two types of agricultural matrix (coffee: HO = 0.576 ± 0.013, HE =0.766±0.014; pasture HO =0.535±0.020, HE =0.762±0.012). The fixation index (Fst = 0.002, p = 0.435) indicated Fst complete panmixia, with populations freely interbreeding and no genetic differentiation. Lack of genetic structure between populations might be due to the high dispersal capability of the species as well as adaptation to human transformed environments. Pairwise comparison among sites showed low but significant genetic structure for three of them, thus habitat loss and in this case the type of matrix, might be factors that affect even this mobile species. This is the first population genetics study of wild mammals in El Salvador, offering a baseline for future research on other mammals in agricultural landscapes of Central America.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationConservation Genetics in Mammals: Integrative Research Using Novel Approaches
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030333348, 9783030333331
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


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