Molecular Phylogeography of the American Beaver (Castor Canadensis): Implications for Management and Conservation

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/223320
Title:
Molecular Phylogeography of the American Beaver (Castor Canadensis): Implications for Management and Conservation
Author:
Pelz Serrano, Karla
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Release after 06-Mar-2013
Abstract:
The American beaver, the largest rodent of North America, is distributed in ponds, lakes, and streams from Alaska to northern Mexico. This semi-aquatic mammal is considered an ecosystem engineer because beavers modify the landscape by cutting trees and by creating dams and ponds that have important effects on the aquatic community structure, providing habitat for aquatic invertebrates, fish, and birds. The American beaver has played an important socioeconomic role in the history of North America due to beavers' fur value, which caused the near extirpation of this mammal at the beginning of the 1900s due to overharvest by early Europeans. Because of the highly specific habitat requirements of beavers, this mammal also suffers the effects of habitat loss in some areas where riparian ecosystems are now scarce. My objectives in this study were to assess how climatic and geological events affected the current distribution of the American beaver in North America, and how the management actions to restore and control beaver populations have affected the genetic structure and conservation of beaver populations. Specifically, I addressed four aspects of the management and conservation genetics of the beaver: 1) a literature review of the management of beavers in the past 100 years; 2) the development of novel microsatellite DNA markers to address the population genetic structure aspects of the study; 3) the use of these microsatellite DNA markers to assess genetic diversity of current populations of beavers and to detect past population bottlenecks; and 4) the use of two mitochondrial DNA genes to resolve the current phylogeography of the American beaver in order to better understand how historical factors have affected the beaver's current distribution and genetic structure in North America. The results from this study provide information of the effects that management actions and climatic events can have on the genetic structure of beavers. This information can be used by wildlife biologists, and land managers, to develop future strategies for management and conservation of the American beaver.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
conservation genetics; microsatellites; phylogeography; pleistocene; Natural Resources; American beaver; Castor canadensis
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Natural Resources
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Culver, Melanie; van Riper, Charles III

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleMolecular Phylogeography of the American Beaver (Castor Canadensis): Implications for Management and Conservationen_US
dc.creatorPelz Serrano, Karlaen_US
dc.contributor.authorPelz Serrano, Karlaen_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseRelease after 06-Mar-2013en_US
dc.description.abstractThe American beaver, the largest rodent of North America, is distributed in ponds, lakes, and streams from Alaska to northern Mexico. This semi-aquatic mammal is considered an ecosystem engineer because beavers modify the landscape by cutting trees and by creating dams and ponds that have important effects on the aquatic community structure, providing habitat for aquatic invertebrates, fish, and birds. The American beaver has played an important socioeconomic role in the history of North America due to beavers' fur value, which caused the near extirpation of this mammal at the beginning of the 1900s due to overharvest by early Europeans. Because of the highly specific habitat requirements of beavers, this mammal also suffers the effects of habitat loss in some areas where riparian ecosystems are now scarce. My objectives in this study were to assess how climatic and geological events affected the current distribution of the American beaver in North America, and how the management actions to restore and control beaver populations have affected the genetic structure and conservation of beaver populations. Specifically, I addressed four aspects of the management and conservation genetics of the beaver: 1) a literature review of the management of beavers in the past 100 years; 2) the development of novel microsatellite DNA markers to address the population genetic structure aspects of the study; 3) the use of these microsatellite DNA markers to assess genetic diversity of current populations of beavers and to detect past population bottlenecks; and 4) the use of two mitochondrial DNA genes to resolve the current phylogeography of the American beaver in order to better understand how historical factors have affected the beaver's current distribution and genetic structure in North America. The results from this study provide information of the effects that management actions and climatic events can have on the genetic structure of beavers. This information can be used by wildlife biologists, and land managers, to develop future strategies for management and conservation of the American beaver.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectconservation geneticsen_US
dc.subjectmicrosatellitesen_US
dc.subjectphylogeographyen_US
dc.subjectpleistoceneen_US
dc.subjectNatural Resourcesen_US
dc.subjectAmerican beaveren_US
dc.subjectCastor canadensisen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineNatural Resourcesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorCulver, Melanieen_US
dc.contributor.advisorvan Riper, Charles IIIen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKoprowski, Johnen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberList, Ruriken_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCulver, Melanieen_US
dc.contributor.committeemembervan Riper, Charles IIIen_US
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