• Age-dependent, negative heterozygosity-fitness correlations and local effects in an endangered Caribbean reptile, Iguana delicatissima

      Judson, Jessica L Martin; Knapp, Charles R.; Welch, Mark E. (2018)
      Inbreeding depression can have alarming impacts on threatened species with small population sizes. Assessing inbreeding has therefore become an important focus of conservation research. In this study, heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFCs) were measured by genotyping 7 loci in 83 adult and 184 hatchling Lesser Antillean Iguanas, Iguana delicatissima, at a communal nesting site in Dominica to assess the role of inbreeding depression on hatchling fitness and recruitment to the adult population in this endangered species. We found insignificant correlations between multilocus heterozygosity and multiple fitness proxies in hatchlings and adults. Further, multilocus heterozygosity did not differ significantly between hatchlings and adults, which suggests that the survivorship of homozygous hatchlings does not differ markedly from that of their heterozygous counterparts. However, genotypes at two individual loci were correlated with hatching date, a finding consistent with the linkage between specific marker loci and segregating deleterious recessive alleles. These results provide only modest evidence that inbreeding depression influences the population dynamics of I. delicatissima on Dominica.;