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Patterns of Genetic Differentiation in Salamanders of the Desmognathus ochrophaeus Complex (Amphibia: Plethodontidae)

Stephen G. Tilley and Meredith J. Mahoney
Herpetological Monographs
Vol. 10 (1996), pp. 1-42
Published by: Herpetologists' League
DOI: 10.2307/1466979
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1466979
Page Count: 42
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Patterns of Genetic Differentiation in Salamanders of the Desmognathus ochrophaeus Complex (Amphibia: Plethodontidae)
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Abstract

We investigated patterns of variation at 22 allozyme loci in 53 populations of salamanders currently referred to Desmognathus ochrophaeus Cope. Analyses of genetic distance data revealed that a homogeneous and well-diffentiated form is distributed from New York to southeastern Kentucky, in and northwest of the Ridge and Valley Physiographic Province. To the south, two relatively well-differentiated, genetically homogeneous forms replace each other para-patrically in the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province at Iron Mountain Gap on the Tennessee-North Carolina border and somewhere between Linville Falls and McKinney Gap on the Blue Ridge divide. Farther south, a loose collection of relatively well-differentiated populations occupies the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province south of the Pigeon River. Patterns of isolation by distance are evident for interpopulational comparisons both within and among these forms, and genetic differentiation has been accompanied by various degrees of ethological reproductive isolation. We propose that the application of a single name to this complex of populations is no longer tenable, and name the four forms (from northeast to southwest): ochrophaeus, orestes sp. nov., carolinensis, and ocoee.

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