Examining the Effects of Reservoirs on Population Structure and Dispersal of the Mayfly Baetis tricaudatus by Analyzing Mitochondrial and Nuclear DNA
Authors:Kaylee Arnold, Jennifer Rios
Mentor:Brian Spitzer, Associate Professor of Biology, University of Redlands
The mayfly Baetis tricaudatus is an abundant aquatic insect that can be found throughout the San Bernardino Mountains. Mayflies spend their immature lives in freshwater streams for up to three years, then emerge as adults to mate and lay eggs before dying less than 24 hours later. During their short adult life, mayflies have been found to travel vast distances over running water. However still water, such as lakes, may prove to isolate populations. Due to the large reservoirs in the San Bernardino Mountains, it is to be expected that there will be a high amount of genetic differentiation between populations of mayflies. By using mitochondrial and microsatellite primers, data were analyzed above and below three different reservoirs. Based upon results thus far, significant differentiation was observed with mitochondrial data (p=0.0003) and microsatellite data (p=0.0014). This shows that the populations are isolated from one another. However, until further tests are analyzed it cannot be determined whether this difference is caused by the reservoir or the distance separating the populations. Previous studies, such as Monaghan et. al (2000) have produced results that indicate distance is not a variable. With these studies, we can expect the differentiation will be due to the reservoirs and our hypothesis can be accepted.