Fluctuating asymmetry, genetic diversity and spatial distribution in populations of the treefrog Bokermannohyla saxicola (Amphibia, Anura)

About The Project

In this project we tested the suitability of developmental instability (DI) and heterozigosity measurements to assess levels of environmental stress on Brazilian frogs, using the treefrog Bokermannohyla saxicola (Anura, Hylidae) as a model. DI levels were represented by fluctuating asymmetry (FA) levels in populations of Bokermannohyla saxicola throughout its geographic distribution and were later related to levels of human influence in the surroundings of sampling points. We obtained FA measurements from both tadpoles and adult frogs, from which tissues were obtained for DNA extraction. Heterozigosity was estimated based on 14 microsatellite sites previously described for the species. Levels of human influence in the surrounding environment were given by the area covered by human activities, classified and quantified using Geographic Information Systems. The species distribution is now being characterized according to altitudinal gradients and river orders aiming at describing preferential habitats for the species on which future conservation efforts should be focused.