May 17, 2011

Going coastal: shared evolutionary history between coastal British Columbia and Southeast Alaska wolves (Canis lupus)

PloS One
Byron V WeckworthJoseph A Cook

Abstract

Many coastal species occupying the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest in North America comprise endemic populations genetically and ecologically distinct from interior continental conspecifics. Morphological variation previously identified among wolf populations resulted in recognition of multiple subspecies of wolves in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, separate genetic studies have identified diverged populations of wolves in coastal British Columbia and coastal Southeast Alaska, providing support for hypotheses of distinct coastal subspecies. These two regions are geographically and ecologically contiguous, however, there is no comprehensive analysis across all wolf populations in this coastal rainforest. By combining mitochondrial DNA datasets from throughout the Pacific Northwest, we examined the genetic relationship between coastal British Columbia and Southeast Alaska wolf populations and compared them with adjacent continental populations. Phylogenetic analysis indicates complete overlap in the genetic diversity of coastal British Columbia and Southeast Alaska wolves, but these populations are distinct from interior continental wolves. Analyses of molecular variation support the separation of all coastal wolv...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Genetic Drift
Lavatera occidentalis
Short Tandem Repeat
Larix occidentalis
Benitoa occidentalis
Lilaeopsis occidentalis
DNA, Mitochondrial
Wolves
Leptoglossus occidentalis
Leucopternis occidentalis

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