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Martins M.M.,Federal University of Sao Carlos | Nascimento A.T.A.,Institute Pesquisas Ecolgicas | Nali C.,Institute Pesquisas Ecolgicas | Velastin G.O.,Institute Pesquisas Ecolgicas | And 3 more authors.
Folia Primatologica | Year: 2011

The ability of a population to evolve in a changing environment may be compromised by human-imposed barriers to gene flow. We investigated the population structure and the possible occurrence of a genetic bottleneck in two isolated populations of the black-faced lion tamarin (Leontopithecus caissara), a species with very reduced numbers (less than 400) in a very restricted range in the Atlantic Forest of southeast Brazil. We determined the genotypes of 52 individuals across 9 microsatellite loci. We found genetic divergence between the populations, each exhibiting low genetic diversity. Analysis revealed broad- and fine-scale population structuring. Both populations have evidently experienced population reduction and a genetic bottleneck without presenting any apparent detrimental effect. Anyway, measures should be taken to effectively protect the forests where L. caissara occurs in order to allow its populations to increase and counteract the eventual effects of genetic impoverishment. © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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