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Population structure of the golden snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus roxellana in the Qinling Mountains, central China

Posted date: October 07, 2016
Publication Year: 
2016
Authors: Huang, Kang; Guo, Songtao; Cushman, Samuel A.; Dunn, Derek W.; Qi, Xiaoguang; Hou, Rong; Zhang, Jing; Li, Qi; Zhang, Qiang; Shi, Zhen; Zhang, Kan; Li, Baoguo
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Integrative Zoology. 11(5): 350–360.

Abstract

Environmental barriers and habitat fragmentation can restrict gene flow, leading to genetic divergence among animal populations. The golden snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus roxellana, is endemic to China, and ranges across 4 provinces. However, over the past 40 years its populations have become fragmented. We investigated the genetic diversity, demographic history and population structure of R. roxellana in 5 reserves in one of its strongholds, the Qinling Mountain forests of Shaanxi. We collected genetic material from 11 monkey bands (a group of individuals containing multiple 1-male units) with a total of 428 samples genotyped at 20 microsatellite loci. Allelic richness and heterozygosity suggested a relatively high level of intra-band genetic diversity. We found no evidence of any genetic bottleneck in these R. roxellana populations. AMOVA and Bayesian cluster analysis revealed that R. roxellana in the 5 reserves are highly structured and form at least 3 distinct subpopulations. These subpopulations concur with major topographical features in the study area, such as mountain ridges, suggesting that dispersal of R. roxellana may be restricted by geographical barriers.

Citation

Huang, Kang; Guo, Songtao; Cushman, Samuel A.; Dunn, Derek W.; Qi, Xiaoguang; Hou, Rong; Zhang, Jing; Li, Qi; Zhang, Qiang; Shi, Zhen; Zhang, Kan; Li, Baoguo. 2016. Population structure of the golden snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus roxellana in the Qinling Mountains, central China. Integrative Zoology. 11(5): 350–360.