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Island survivors: population genetic structure and demography of the critically endangered giant lizard of La Gomera, Gallotia bravoana

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Genetics, November 2014
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Title
Island survivors: population genetic structure and demography of the critically endangered giant lizard of La Gomera, Gallotia bravoana
Published in
BMC Genetics, November 2014
DOI 10.1186/s12863-014-0121-8
Pubmed ID
Authors

Elena G Gonzalez, Ivania Cerón-Souza, José A Mateo, Rafael Zardoya

Abstract

BackgroundThe giant lizard of La Gomera (Gallotia bravoana), is an endemic lacertid of this Canary Island that lives confined to a very restricted area of occupancy in a steep cliff, and is catalogued as Critically Endangered by IUCN. We present the first population genetic analysis of the wild population as well as of captive-born individuals (for which paternity data are available) from a recovery center. Current genetic variability, and inferred past demographic changes were determined in order to discern the relative contribution of natural versus human-mediated effects on the observed decline in population size.ResultsGenetic analyses indicate that the only known natural population of the species shows low genetic diversity and acts as a single evolutionary unit. Demographic analyses inferred a prolonged decline of the species for at least 230 generations. Depending on the assumed generation time, the onset of the decline was dated between 1200¿13000 years ago. Pedigree analyses of captive individuals suggest that reproductive behavior of the giant lizard of La Gomera may include polyandry, multiple paternity and female long-term sperm retention.ConclusionsThe current low genetic diversity of G. bravoana is the result of a long-term gradual decline. Because generation time is unknown in this lizard and estimates had large credibility intervals, it is not possible to determine the relative contribution of humans in the collapse of the population. Shorter generation times would favor a stronger influence of human pressure whereas longer generation times would favor a climate-induced origin of the decline. In any case, our analyses show that the wild population has survived for a long period of time with low levels of genetic diversity and a small effective population size. Reproductive behavior may have acted as an important inbreeding avoidance mechanism allowing the species to elude extinction. Overall, our results suggest that the species retains its adaptive potential and could restore its ancient genetic diversity under favorable conditions. Therefore, management of the giant lizard of La Gomera should concentrate efforts on enhancing population growth rates through captive breeding of the species as well as on restoring the carrying capacity of its natural habitat.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 47 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 1 2%
Unknown 46 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 10 21%
Student > Master 8 17%
Student > Bachelor 7 15%
Researcher 6 13%
Other 4 9%
Other 8 17%
Unknown 4 9%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 25 53%
Environmental Science 9 19%
Medicine and Dentistry 2 4%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 2%
Psychology 1 2%
Other 2 4%
Unknown 7 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 December 2014.
All research outputs
#2,492,844
of 5,036,385 outputs
Outputs from BMC Genetics
#260
of 552 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#78,613
of 172,413 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Genetics
#16
of 39 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 5,036,385 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 47th percentile – i.e., 47% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 552 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 3.1. This one is in the 48th percentile – i.e., 48% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 172,413 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 49th percentile – i.e., 49% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 39 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 51% of its contemporaries.