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Title: The use of molecular genetics in the formulation of conservation strategies for Lepidoptera.
Author: Joyce, Domino Ann.
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2001
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The broad aim of this research, funded by English Nature, was to use genetic techniques to inform conservation strategies and contribute to species action plans for selected Lepidoptera. The three species chosen for the study were the marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia), the high brown fritillary (Argynnis adippe) and the chequered skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon). Allozymes and mitochondrial DNA were used to answer individual questions applicable to each species. All three species seem to have colonised the UK after the last ice-age in one event. Most work took place on E. aurinia forming national and local scale research. Genetic differentiation between populations was fairly high, but it may be that a metapopulation structure ensures local population sizes remain large enough to delay the signs of drift. A. adippe was sampled from two populations; this extremely rare butterfly seems to have lost some genetic diversity, but further samples are required before firm conclusions can be drawn. C. palaemon is being reintroduced into England, and identification of the most genetically appropriate source for a donor population was required, using museum specimens to type the extinct English population. The species seems to have colonised the UK in one post-glacial event, and from a genetic point of view, both northern European and Scotland contain appropriate donor populations. Finally, the ways in which genetics can complement ecological work to aid conservation are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Population genetics; Genetic diversity; Butterflies; Fritillary; Skipper Molecular biology Cytology Genetics Ecology Zoology