Published in Published in Conservation Genetics, Vol. 8, No. 4 (August 2007), 965-975. The original publication is available at
Available at 10.1007/s10592-006-9250-6.


Euchemotrema hubrichti (Pilsbry HA (1940) Volume 1, Part 2. Monographs of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 3, I-VI, 2, 575–994, I-IX) is a polygyrid land snail known only from the Larue Pine Hills region of southwestern Illinois, USA. Despite the restricted range of the species, observations in the field suggested that patterns of genetic variation within E. hubrichti might show geographic structure. To assess the dispersal potential of E. hubrichti, a mark-recapture experiment was performed at two sites <100 meters apart. To evaluate the geographic distribution of genetic>variation, a region of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene was sequenced from 53 snails collected from sites spanning the species range. Mark-recapture experiments suggested that population sizes at two sites were low and migration between sites was not detected. AMOVA and nested clade analysis (NCA) revealed significant genetic structure among sites. Two sites in particular appeared to be isolated from the others based on nested clade analysis. AMOVA also detected significant genetic differentiation among sites, but partitioning the data into two groups (populations 1 and 2) based on the NCA results did not explain a significant amount of genetic variation. Coalescent methods suggested that population sizes and migration rates for populations 1 and 2 are unequal. These patterns are likely due to the low dispersal ability of E. hubrichti and patchiness of preferred E. hubrichti habitat rather than an ancient vicariant event. These preliminary findings have implications both for the conservation of this species and for the population genetics of any spatially restricted endemic species with low dispersal ability.