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Monday, January 25 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Effective and Census Population Size in Eastern Massasaugas

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AUTHORS: Danielle Bradke*, Grand Valley State University; Jeffrey Bartman, Grand Valley State University; Nathan Kudla, Grand Valley State University; Eric Hileman, Northern Illinois University; Jennifer Moore, Grand Valley State University

ABSTRACT: Small, isolated populations risk rapid losses of genetic diversity via inbreeding and genetic drift, rendering them vulnerable to environmental stochasticity. Effective population size constrains the amount of genetic diversity in a population and it is closely linked to a population’s census size. Thus, census and effective population sizes are important parameters to monitor in species of conservation concern. Eastern massasaugas have experienced extensive habitat loss and declines throughout their range, but information about population size is lacking for most populations. We used mark-recapture and microsatellite data to estimate census and effective population size at two sites in southwest Michigan. Results from this study may be useful to resource managers in an adaptive management framework. Furthermore, understanding the relationship between these two parameters may allow managers and researchers to assess the long-term viability of eastern massasauga populations.

Monday January 25, 2016 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST