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Effects of landscape matrix on population connectivity of an arboreal mammal, Petaurus breviceps.

Malekian M, Cooper SJ, Saint KM, Lancaster ML, Taylor AC, Carthew SM - Ecol Evol (2015)

Bottom Line: Here, we examine the effects of landscape matrix on population structure of the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) in a fragmented landscape in southeastern South Australia.We found evidence for female philopatry and restricted dispersal distances for females relative to males, suggesting there is male-biased dispersal.The permeability of a cleared agricultural matrix to dispersing gliders was significantly higher than that of a pine matrix, with the gliders dispersing shorter distances across the latter.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Natural Resources Isfahan University of Technology Isfahan 84156-83111 Iran ; School of Biological Sciences The University of Adelaide Adelaide SA 5005 Australia ; Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity The University of Adelaide Adelaide SA 5005 Australia.

ABSTRACT
Ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation is considered a threat to biodiversity as it can create small, isolated populations that are at increased risk of extinction. Tree-dependent species are predicted to be highly sensitive to forest and woodland loss and fragmentation, but few studies have tested the influence of different types of landscape matrix on gene flow and population structure of arboreal species. Here, we examine the effects of landscape matrix on population structure of the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) in a fragmented landscape in southeastern South Australia. We collected 250 individuals across 12 native Eucalyptus forest remnants surrounded by cleared agricultural land or exotic Pinus radiata plantations and a large continuous eucalypt forest. Fifteen microsatellite loci were genotyped and analyzed to infer levels of population differentiation and dispersal. Genetic differentiation among most forest patches was evident. We found evidence for female philopatry and restricted dispersal distances for females relative to males, suggesting there is male-biased dispersal. Among the environmental variables, spatial variables including geographic location, minimum distance to neighboring patch, and degree of isolation were the most important in explaining genetic variation. The permeability of a cleared agricultural matrix to dispersing gliders was significantly higher than that of a pine matrix, with the gliders dispersing shorter distances across the latter. Our results added to previous findings for other species of restricted dispersal and connectivity due to habitat fragmentation in the same region, providing valuable information for the development of strategies to improve the connectivity of populations in the future.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Correlograms of genetic correlation (r) plotted as a function of distance (0.5 km distance classes). The five plots represent data from (A) the whole dataset, (B) females, (C) males, (D) forest patches surrounded by cleared agricultural land, and (E) patches fragmented by pine plantation. The permuted 95% confidence intervals (dashed lines) and bootstrapped 95% error bars are shown.
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ece31675-fig-0004: Correlograms of genetic correlation (r) plotted as a function of distance (0.5 km distance classes). The five plots represent data from (A) the whole dataset, (B) females, (C) males, (D) forest patches surrounded by cleared agricultural land, and (E) patches fragmented by pine plantation. The permuted 95% confidence intervals (dashed lines) and bootstrapped 95% error bars are shown.

Mentions: Spatial autocorrelation analysis of the whole dataset revealed a significantly positive coefficient at the distance size of 0.5 km (Fig. 4A). The signal of significant spatial autocorrelation was retained when the analysis was performed only on the females (Fig. 4B). In contrast, analysis of the males did not show a significant autocorrelation at 0.5 km (Fig. 4C) and did not depart from the assumption of random distribution of genotypes. Similar correlograms were obtained when a longer distance class of 1 km was selected (data not shown). Separate analysis of the five native patches surrounded by cleared agricultural lands showed significantly positive correlation values up to 3 km, and a positive, but not significant, trend up to 5.5 km (Fig. 4D). For the seven sites separated by pine, however, a positive and significant correlation was observed within 1 km distance, but not beyond that (Fig. 4E).


Effects of landscape matrix on population connectivity of an arboreal mammal, Petaurus breviceps.

Malekian M, Cooper SJ, Saint KM, Lancaster ML, Taylor AC, Carthew SM - Ecol Evol (2015)

Correlograms of genetic correlation (r) plotted as a function of distance (0.5 km distance classes). The five plots represent data from (A) the whole dataset, (B) females, (C) males, (D) forest patches surrounded by cleared agricultural land, and (E) patches fragmented by pine plantation. The permuted 95% confidence intervals (dashed lines) and bootstrapped 95% error bars are shown.
© Copyright Policy - creativeCommonsBy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4588655&req=5

ece31675-fig-0004: Correlograms of genetic correlation (r) plotted as a function of distance (0.5 km distance classes). The five plots represent data from (A) the whole dataset, (B) females, (C) males, (D) forest patches surrounded by cleared agricultural land, and (E) patches fragmented by pine plantation. The permuted 95% confidence intervals (dashed lines) and bootstrapped 95% error bars are shown.
Mentions: Spatial autocorrelation analysis of the whole dataset revealed a significantly positive coefficient at the distance size of 0.5 km (Fig. 4A). The signal of significant spatial autocorrelation was retained when the analysis was performed only on the females (Fig. 4B). In contrast, analysis of the males did not show a significant autocorrelation at 0.5 km (Fig. 4C) and did not depart from the assumption of random distribution of genotypes. Similar correlograms were obtained when a longer distance class of 1 km was selected (data not shown). Separate analysis of the five native patches surrounded by cleared agricultural lands showed significantly positive correlation values up to 3 km, and a positive, but not significant, trend up to 5.5 km (Fig. 4D). For the seven sites separated by pine, however, a positive and significant correlation was observed within 1 km distance, but not beyond that (Fig. 4E).

Bottom Line: Here, we examine the effects of landscape matrix on population structure of the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) in a fragmented landscape in southeastern South Australia.We found evidence for female philopatry and restricted dispersal distances for females relative to males, suggesting there is male-biased dispersal.The permeability of a cleared agricultural matrix to dispersing gliders was significantly higher than that of a pine matrix, with the gliders dispersing shorter distances across the latter.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Natural Resources Isfahan University of Technology Isfahan 84156-83111 Iran ; School of Biological Sciences The University of Adelaide Adelaide SA 5005 Australia ; Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity The University of Adelaide Adelaide SA 5005 Australia.

ABSTRACT
Ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation is considered a threat to biodiversity as it can create small, isolated populations that are at increased risk of extinction. Tree-dependent species are predicted to be highly sensitive to forest and woodland loss and fragmentation, but few studies have tested the influence of different types of landscape matrix on gene flow and population structure of arboreal species. Here, we examine the effects of landscape matrix on population structure of the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) in a fragmented landscape in southeastern South Australia. We collected 250 individuals across 12 native Eucalyptus forest remnants surrounded by cleared agricultural land or exotic Pinus radiata plantations and a large continuous eucalypt forest. Fifteen microsatellite loci were genotyped and analyzed to infer levels of population differentiation and dispersal. Genetic differentiation among most forest patches was evident. We found evidence for female philopatry and restricted dispersal distances for females relative to males, suggesting there is male-biased dispersal. Among the environmental variables, spatial variables including geographic location, minimum distance to neighboring patch, and degree of isolation were the most important in explaining genetic variation. The permeability of a cleared agricultural matrix to dispersing gliders was significantly higher than that of a pine matrix, with the gliders dispersing shorter distances across the latter. Our results added to previous findings for other species of restricted dispersal and connectivity due to habitat fragmentation in the same region, providing valuable information for the development of strategies to improve the connectivity of populations in the future.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus