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The genetic legacy of multiple beaver reintroductions in Central Europe.

Frosch C, Kraus RH, Angst C, Allgöwer R, Michaux J, Teubner J, Nowak C - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: The comeback of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) throughout western and central Europe is considered a major conservation success.This inhomogeneity in management actions generated ongoing debates regarding the origin of present beaver populations and appropriate management plans for the future.While regional occurrences of invasive North American beavers (n = 20) were found, all but one C. fiber bore the mitochondrial haplotype of the autochthonous western Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Conservation Genetics Group, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Gelnhausen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The comeback of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) throughout western and central Europe is considered a major conservation success. Traditionally, several subspecies are recognised by morphology and mitochondrial haplotype, each linked to a relict population. During various reintroduction programs in the 20th century, beavers from multiple source localities were released and now form viable populations. These programs differed in their reintroduction strategies, i.e., using pure subspecies vs. mixed source populations. This inhomogeneity in management actions generated ongoing debates regarding the origin of present beaver populations and appropriate management plans for the future. By sequencing of the mitochondrial control region and microsatellite genotyping of 235 beaver individuals from five selected regions in Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium we show that beavers from at least four source origins currently form admixed, genetically diverse populations that spread across the study region. While regional occurrences of invasive North American beavers (n = 20) were found, all but one C. fiber bore the mitochondrial haplotype of the autochthonous western Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU). Considering this, as well as the viability of admixed populations and the fact that the fusion of different lineages is already progressing in all studied regions, we argue that admixture between different beaver source populations should be generally accepted.

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Detailed results of the genetic admixture for region SW. See Fig. 5 for details.
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pone-0097619-g008: Detailed results of the genetic admixture for region SW. See Fig. 5 for details.

Mentions: In Bavaria individuals from multiple origins were reintroduced and also dispersed far into Baden-Württemberg. We detected individuals with haplotypes of three origins: Scandinavia (C. f. fiber; n = 1, f), France (C. f. galliae; n = 24, g) and Russia (n = 39; r1). Structure suggested admixed genetic patterns in the region in 56% (36/64) of all individuals, while DAPC assigned 77% with high posterior probability to one of the two clusters. According to the results of NewHybrids only eight individuals were assigned to parental group 1 (P1; purple) and one was determined to be a pure P2 (assignment probability >0.8). All remaining individuals in the population BB were designated hybrids.


The genetic legacy of multiple beaver reintroductions in Central Europe.

Frosch C, Kraus RH, Angst C, Allgöwer R, Michaux J, Teubner J, Nowak C - PLoS ONE (2014)

Detailed results of the genetic admixture for region SW. See Fig. 5 for details.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4020922&req=5

pone-0097619-g008: Detailed results of the genetic admixture for region SW. See Fig. 5 for details.
Mentions: In Bavaria individuals from multiple origins were reintroduced and also dispersed far into Baden-Württemberg. We detected individuals with haplotypes of three origins: Scandinavia (C. f. fiber; n = 1, f), France (C. f. galliae; n = 24, g) and Russia (n = 39; r1). Structure suggested admixed genetic patterns in the region in 56% (36/64) of all individuals, while DAPC assigned 77% with high posterior probability to one of the two clusters. According to the results of NewHybrids only eight individuals were assigned to parental group 1 (P1; purple) and one was determined to be a pure P2 (assignment probability >0.8). All remaining individuals in the population BB were designated hybrids.

Bottom Line: The comeback of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) throughout western and central Europe is considered a major conservation success.This inhomogeneity in management actions generated ongoing debates regarding the origin of present beaver populations and appropriate management plans for the future.While regional occurrences of invasive North American beavers (n = 20) were found, all but one C. fiber bore the mitochondrial haplotype of the autochthonous western Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Conservation Genetics Group, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Gelnhausen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The comeback of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) throughout western and central Europe is considered a major conservation success. Traditionally, several subspecies are recognised by morphology and mitochondrial haplotype, each linked to a relict population. During various reintroduction programs in the 20th century, beavers from multiple source localities were released and now form viable populations. These programs differed in their reintroduction strategies, i.e., using pure subspecies vs. mixed source populations. This inhomogeneity in management actions generated ongoing debates regarding the origin of present beaver populations and appropriate management plans for the future. By sequencing of the mitochondrial control region and microsatellite genotyping of 235 beaver individuals from five selected regions in Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium we show that beavers from at least four source origins currently form admixed, genetically diverse populations that spread across the study region. While regional occurrences of invasive North American beavers (n = 20) were found, all but one C. fiber bore the mitochondrial haplotype of the autochthonous western Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU). Considering this, as well as the viability of admixed populations and the fact that the fusion of different lineages is already progressing in all studied regions, we argue that admixture between different beaver source populations should be generally accepted.

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