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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / Spatiotemporal allozyme variation in the damselfly, Lestes viridis (Odonata: Zygoptera): Gene flow among permanent and temporary ponds

M.a De Block, S.a Geenen, K.a Jordaens, T.a Backeljau and R.c Stoks (2005)

Spatiotemporal allozyme variation in the damselfly, Lestes viridis (Odonata: Zygoptera): Gene flow among permanent and temporary ponds

Genetica, 124(2):137-144.

Several insect species seem to persist not only in permanent but also in temporary ponds where they face particularly harsh conditions and frequent extinctions. Under such conditions, gene flow may prevent local adaptation to temporary ponds and may promote phenotypic plasticity, or maintain apparent population persistence. The few empirical studies on insects suggest the latter mechanism, but no studies so far quantified gene flow including both pond types. We investigated the effects of pond type and temporal variation on population genetic differentiation and gene flow in the damselfly Lestes viridis in northern Belgium. We report a survey of two allozyme loci (Gpi, Pgm) with polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in 14 populations from permanent and temporary ponds, and compared these results with similar data from the same permanent populations one year before. The data suggested that neither pond-drying regime, nor temporal variation have a substantial effect on population genetic structuring and did not provide evidence for stable population differentiation in L. viridis in northern Belgium. Gene flow estimates were high within permanent and temporary ponds, and between pond types. Our data are consistent with a source-sink metapopulation system where temporary ponds act as sinks in dry years, and are quickly recolonized after local population extinction. This may create a pattern of apparent population persistence of this species in permanent and temporary ponds without clear local adaptation. © Springer 2005.

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