Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Tzeidle N. Wasserman; Samuel A. Cushman; Jeremy S. Littell; Andrew J. Shirk; Erin L. Landguth
    Date: 2013
    Source: Conservation Genetics. 14(2): 529-541.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.0 MB)


    Climate change is likely to alter population connectivity, particularly for species associated with higher elevation environments. The goal of this study is to predict the potential effects of future climate change on population connectivity and genetic diversity of American marten populations across a 30.2 million hectare region of the in the US northern Rocky Mountains. We use a landscape resistance model validated from empirical landscape genetics modeling to predict the current and expected future extent and fragmentation of American marten dispersal habitat under five climate change scenarios, corresponding to climatic warming of between 0.7 and 3.3 degrees C, consistent with expected climate change by year 2080. We predict the regions of the current and future landscapes where gene flow is expected to be governed by isolation by distance and the regions where population fragmentation is expected to limit gene flow. Finally, we predict changes in the strength and location of predicted movement corridors, fracture zones and the location of dispersal barriers across the study area in each scenario. We found that under the current climate, gene flow is predicted to be limited primarily by distance (isolation), and landscape structure does not significantly limit gene flow, resulting in very high genetic diversity over most of the study area. Projected climatic warming substantially reduces the extent and increases the fragmentation of marten populations in the western and northwestern parts of the study area. In contrast, climate change is not predicted to fragment the extensive higher elevation mountain massifs in central Idaho, the northern U.S. continental divide, and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In addition, we show locations in the study area that are important corridors in the current landscape that remain intact across the climate change scenarios.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Wasserman, Tzeidle N.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Shirk, Andrew J.; Landguth, Erin L. 2013. Population connectivity and genetic diversity of American marten (Martes americana) in the United States northern Rocky Mountains in a climate change context. Conservation Genetics. 14(2): 529-541.


    Google Scholar


    climate change, population connectivity, gene flow, genetic diversity, American marten, Martes americana

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page