Data from: Low genetic diversity and strong population structure shaped by anthropogenic habitat fragmentation in a critically endangered primate, Trachypithecus leucocephalus
Wang, Weiran et al. (2017), Data from: Low genetic diversity and strong population structure shaped by anthropogenic habitat fragmentation in a critically endangered primate, Trachypithecus leucocephalus, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.746k3
Habitat fragmentation may strongly impact population genetic structure and reduce the genetic diversity and viability of small and isolated populations. The white-headed langur (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) is a critically endangered primate species living in a highly fragmented and human-modified habitat in southern China. We examined the population genetic structure and genetic diversity of the species and investigated the environmental and anthropogenic factors that may have shaped its population structure. We used 214 unique multi-locus genotypes from 41 social groups across the main distribution area of T. leucocephalus, and found strong genetic structure and significant genetic differentiation among local populations. Our landscape genetic analyses using a causal modelling framework suggest that a large habitat gap and geographical distance represent the primary landscape elements shaping genetic structure, yet high levels of genetic differentiation also exist between patches separated by a small habitat gap or road. This is the first comprehensive study that has evaluated the population genetic structure and diversity of T. leucocephalus using nuclear markers. Our results indicate strong negative impacts of anthropogenic land modifications and habitat fragmentation on primate genetic connectivity between forest patches. Our analyses suggest that two management units of the species could be defined, and indicate that habitat continuity should be enforced and restored to reduce genetic isolation and enhance population viability.