Great Basin Naturalist


Allelic variation at 21 of 39 electrophoretically resolved enzyme loci was used to examine patterns of geographic differentiation and population structure in six allopatric samples of Eutamias dorsalis. Coefficients of genetic similarity for paired combinations of E. dorsalis samples ranged from 0.955 to 0.975, except for one population that was 0.900. Conservative genic divergence among five populations is proposed to be the result of relatively recent isolation events. High positive F18 values and chi-square analyses confirm a significant excess of homozygotes at several loci at the five localities for which sample sizes were statistically adequate. This may be partly attributable to inbreeding, a Wahlund effect, linkage disequilibrium, posttranslational modification, or some combination of these; but at present some of these alternatives cannot be excluded in favor of a single explanation. Some samples were collected across altitudinal gradients of over 800 m, suggesting that a Wahlund effect may be the most likely explanation for low levels of heterozygosity in these populations.