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|Title: ||Genetic diversity, evolutionary history and implications for conservation of the lion (Panthera leo) in West and Central Africa|
|Authors: ||Bertola, L. D.|
Van Hooft, W. F.
Uit de Weerd, D. R.
York, D. S.
Prins, H. H. T.
Funston, P. J.
Udo de Haes, H. A.
Van Haeringen, W. A.
Tumenta, P. N.
De Iongh, H. H.
|Keywords: ||Central Africa|
|Issue Date: ||2011|
|Publisher: ||Blackwell Publishing Ltd|
|Citation: ||Bertola, L.D., van Hooft, W.F., Vrieling, K., Uit de Weerd, D.R., York, D.S., Bauer, ... de Iongh, H.H. (2011). Genetic diversity, evolutionary history and implications for conservation of the lion (Panthera leo) in West and Central Africa. Journal of Biogeography, 38, 1356–1367.|
|Abstract: ||Aim: In recent decades there has been a marked decline in the numbers of African
lions (Panthera leo), especially in West Africa where the species is regionally
endangered. Based on the climatological history of western Africa, we hypothesize
that West and Central African lions have a unique evolutionary history, which is
reflected by their genetic makeup.
Location: Sub-Saharan Africa and India, with special focus on West and Central
Method: In this study 126 samples, throughout the lion’s complete geographic
range, were subjected to phylogenetic analyses. DNA sequences of a
mitochondrial region, containing cytochrome b, tRNAPro, tRNAThr and the
left part of the control region, were analysed.
Results: Bayesian, maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony analyses
consistently showed a distinction between lions from West and Central Africa and
lions from southern and East Africa. West and Central African lions are more
closely related to Asiatic lions than to the southern and East African lions. This
can be explained by a Pleistocene extinction and subsequent recolonization of
West Africa from refugia in the Middle East. This is further supported by the fact
that the West and Central African clade shows relatively little genetic diversity and
is therefore thought to be an evolutionarily young clade.
Main conclusions: The taxonomic division between an African and an Asian
subspecies does not fully reflect the overall genetic diversity within lions. In order to conserve genetic diversity within the species, genetically distinct lineages
should be prioritized. Understanding the geographic pattern of genetic diversity is
key to developing conservation strategies, both for in situ management and for
breeding of captive stocks.|
|Appears in Collections:||1. Sci: Publications and preprints|
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