PREDATORS, GENETICS, AND CLIMATE CHANGE: PRIORITIZING CONSERVATION ACTIONS FOR ENDANGERED HAWAIIAN TREE SNAILS.
Melissa Price; 1910 East-West Rd., Rm 101, Honolulu, HI, 96822; (808) 956-7774; pricemel@hawaii.edu; Zac Forsman, Robert J. Toonen, David Sischo, Philip Kitamura, Ingrid Knapp, Michael G. Hadfield
Endemic Hawaiian tree snails (Achatinellinae) have been rapidly disappearing due to introduced predators and habitat disturbance, and only remain in fragmented refugia. Declines have been particularly precipitous in the last five years. All populations are at the highest elevations available, over steep precipitation gradients, and are likely impacted by climate change as native habitats are becoming warmer and drier. Using restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) we generated millions of DNA sequences from across the genomes of 67 populations representing 28 species, 6 genera, and 3 subfamilies. We constructed whole and partial mitochondrial genomes, and evaluated nuclear and mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Alarmingly, we see evidence of limited connectivity among populations for species where multiple populations remain, with a large number of fixed differences among geographic sites. Together with low heterozygosity, this suggests a decreased capacity for adaptation to environmental change. In this presentation we will discuss these results in light of other threats to species persistence, including predators and climate change. Our results are currently informing decisions to combine populations in predator-free enclosures and captive-bred populations in ways that will maximize adaptive ability and species persistence. 10. Tweetable Abstract: "How to minimize extinction risk for 28 Hawaiian tree snail species? Consider predators, genetics, & shifting climate."
The Anthropocene: Decline & Extinction II