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Stand out from the crowd: Small-scale genetic structuring in the endemic sicilian pond turtle

  • Autori: Vecchioni L.; Marrone F.; Arculeo M.; Fritz U.; Vamberger M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The geographical pattern of genetic diversity was investigated in the endemic Sicilian pond turtle Emys trinacris across its entire distribution range, using 16 microsatellite loci. Overall, 245 specimens of E. trinacris were studied, showing high polymorphic microsatellite loci, with allele numbers ranging from 7 to 30. STRUCTURE and GENELAND analyses showed a noteworthy, geographically based structuring of the studied populations in five well-characterized clusters, supported by a moderate degree of genetic diversity (FST values between 0.075 and 0.160). Possible explanations for the genetic fragmentation observed are provided, where both natural and human-mediated habitat fragmentation of the Sicilian wetlands played a major role in this process. Finally, some conservation and management suggestions aimed at preventing the loss of genetic variability of the species are briefly reported, stressing the importance of considering the five detected clusters as independent Management Units.