Urban Southern California is a Center of Diversification for Salamander Lineages

By: Fisher, R; August 15, 2020
The Southern California Biodiversity Hotspot has a complex geological history and has a human population of about 24 million people. A recent study of genetic diversity across salamanders that occur here found high levels of localized diversity representing ancient mitochondrial lineages. Several of these lineages are very geographically limited and occur only within this urban matrix. Each of the three National Parks (Channel Islands National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area, and Cabrillo National Monument) in this southern California landscape will be important for the long term persistence of unique lineages that are almost micro-endemics to just these park units. Various Bureau of Land Management lands in this regional also house highly divergent lineages that could serve as conservation targets. Lastly, this work provides further support for the importance of the continued US Fish and Wildlife program of Habitat Conservation Planning within this Biodiversity Hotspot for conserving undescribed ancient patterns of genetic diversity.

peerj.com/articles/9599.pdf

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