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A new species of frog for Idaho: phylogeography within the genus Ascaphus and its implications for the biogeography and conservation in the Pacific Northwest.

The tailed frog is a unique headwater stream amphibian endemic to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Our work finds congruence across allozyme and mitochondrial DNA data sets that supports division of the genus Ascaphus into two species, A. montanus and A. truei. We sequenced 1530 nucteotides of the mitochondrial cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit two genes from 23 populations across the range of Ascaphus, and 530 nucleotides from 12 additional populations in the Rocky Mountains. We found two divergent haplotype clades corresponding with Rocky Mountain populations and coastal populations and separated by up to 0.133 substitutions per site. Within the coastal assemblage, haplotypes formed clades by mountain range with 0.010-0.024 substitutions per site divergence among populations. Sampling within the Rocky Mountains defined two clades distinguished on average by 0.024 substitutions per site. We also describe allozyme data at 23 loci from 34 populations across the range of Ascaphus. We find that the deepest split in the allozyme derived phylogeny is congruent with analyses of mtDNA sequence data. Such divergence across markers is sufficient to recognize distinct species under several concepts, and supports the recognition of A. montanus. The depth of divergence between A. truei and A. montanus supports the persistence of mesic forests within the inland Pacific Northwest throughout the Pleistocene and is congruent with patterns found in several other mesic forest species. We propose evolutionary significant units to aid in conservation of A. truei and A. montanus and suggest that management of these species will be most effective on a watershed or sub-watershed scale.

Marilyn Nielson completed the above research work with Jack Sullivan and Kirk Lohman at the University of Idaho. She currently runs her own consulting business out of Spokane, WA.

Marilyn Nielson *, Kirk Lohman, Jack Sullivan, Charles Daugherty,

Fred Allendorf, Kathy Knudsen

Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources / Department of Biological Sciences

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844

Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812

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Author:Nielson, Marilyn; Lohman, Kirk; Sullivan, Jack; Daugherty, Charles; Allendorf, Fred; Knudsen, Kathy
Publication:Journal of the Idaho Academy of Science
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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