The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 04. A genetic assessment of British populations of the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis)


Open Access


Authors: Trevor J. C. Beebee A D Graham Rowe

Abstract: We investigated sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) populations in Britain by genetic analysis across eight polymorphic microsatellite loci. Genetic diversity as determined by mean expected heterozygosity was high in all three distinct regions where the species occurs (Dorset, Surrey and Merseyside), though allelic diversity was lower on Merseyside than in Surrey or Dorset. There was significant genetic differentiation between populations in all three of these widely separated zones, as judged both by Fst and Rst estimators. A genetic test for population bottlenecks confirmed that in at least two of the areas currently inhabited, Surrey and Merseyside, L. agilis has undergone substantial recent dec lines. The significance of these findings for sand lizard conservation is discussed.

Keywords: sand lizards, Lacerta, conservation, genetics, microsatellites


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