Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Conservation Genetics of Corroboree Frogs, Pseudophryne-Corroboree Moore (Anura, Myobatrachidae) - Population Subdivision and Genetic-Divergence

WS Osborne and JA Norman

Australian Journal of Zoology 39(3) 285 - 297
Published: 1991


Reproductive compatibility and population genetic structure were examined in the corroboree frog, Pseudophryne corroboree, a species restricted to montane and subalpine environments in south-eastern Australia. The species comprises three geographic populations, represented by two morphological forms. Hybridisation experiments showed that the allopatric populations are interfertile, although crosses between the Snowy Mountains population (southern form) and each of the two northern populations (northern form) resulted in a significantly higher number of tadpoles with growth abnormalities. An electrophoretic examination of metamorphlings indicated that there was considerable genetic divergence between the two forms, with several loci approaching fixation of alternate alleles. The Snowy Mountains population also had substantially reduced levels of genetic variation compared to the two northern populations. Although genetic distances generally correlate with geographic distance, the genetic differences between the northern and southern populations form a pronounced step, not explicable by geographic distance alone. These findings have taxonomic implications which should be taken into account when considering the conservation management of this uncommon species.

© CSIRO 1991

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