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Evaluating the influence of life ‐ history characteristics on genetic structure: a comparison of small mammals inhabiting complex agricultural landscapes

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ABSTRACT

Conversion of formerly continuous native habitats into highly fragmented landscapes can lead to numerous negative demographic and genetic impacts on native taxa that ultimately reduce population viability. In response to concerns over biodiversity loss, numerous investigators have proposed that traits such as body size and ecological specialization influence the sensitivity of species to habitat fragmentation. In this study, we examined how differences in body size and ecological specialization of two rodents (eastern chipmunk; Tamias striatus and white‐footed mouse; Peromyscus leucopus) impact their genetic connectivity within the highly fragmented landscape of the Upper Wabash River Basin (UWB), Indiana, and evaluated whether landscape configuration and complexity influenced patterns of genetic structure similarly between these two species. The more specialized chipmunk exhibited dramatically more genetic structure across the UWB than white‐footed mice, with genetic differentiation being correlated with geographic distance, configuration of intervening habitats, and complexity of forested habitats within sampling sites. In contrast, the generalist white‐footed mouse resembled a panmictic population across the UWB, and no landscape factors were found to influence gene flow. Despite the extensive previous work in abundance and occupancy within the UWB, no landscape factor that influenced occupancy or abundance was correlated with genetic differentiation in either species. The difference in predictors of occupancy, abundance, and gene flow suggests that species‐specific responses to fragmentation are scale dependent.

No MeSH data available.


Distribution of two putative clusters found in structure (A) and baps (B) for white‐footed mice across the UWB. Pie charts correspond to the proportion of individuals assigned to each putative cluster (C1 or C2) within a study cell. No apparent genetic differentiation was detected within either the structure or baps analysis for white‐footed mice.
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ece32269-fig-0003: Distribution of two putative clusters found in structure (A) and baps (B) for white‐footed mice across the UWB. Pie charts correspond to the proportion of individuals assigned to each putative cluster (C1 or C2) within a study cell. No apparent genetic differentiation was detected within either the structure or baps analysis for white‐footed mice.

Mentions: In contrast to chipmunks, neither of the Bayesian programs revealed strong evidence of genetic structure in white‐footed mice across the study area. In structure, the highest ΔK occurred at K = 2 for both no priors (4.0444, likelihood = −35425.5) and location priors (8.254, likelihood = −36210.3), but were not distinct from any other K (Fig. S2). Furthermore, the majority of q‐values ranged from 0.35 to 0.65, and when plotted, the spatial distribution of the clusters had little clarity (Fig. 3A). Therefore, we considered the most likely K in structure to be 1. Similarly, the modal likelihood for baps was K = 3 (−36022.152), with the vast majority of individuals assigned to a single cluster (900 of 959 individuals). One of the clusters had only nine individuals and was not considered valid, whereas the second primarily occurred within a single study cell (Fig. 3B). Overall, white‐footed mice showed very little genetic structure with no clear spatial structure as observed in chipmunks.


Evaluating the influence of life ‐ history characteristics on genetic structure: a comparison of small mammals inhabiting complex agricultural landscapes
Distribution of two putative clusters found in structure (A) and baps (B) for white‐footed mice across the UWB. Pie charts correspond to the proportion of individuals assigned to each putative cluster (C1 or C2) within a study cell. No apparent genetic differentiation was detected within either the structure or baps analysis for white‐footed mice.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5016657&req=5

ece32269-fig-0003: Distribution of two putative clusters found in structure (A) and baps (B) for white‐footed mice across the UWB. Pie charts correspond to the proportion of individuals assigned to each putative cluster (C1 or C2) within a study cell. No apparent genetic differentiation was detected within either the structure or baps analysis for white‐footed mice.
Mentions: In contrast to chipmunks, neither of the Bayesian programs revealed strong evidence of genetic structure in white‐footed mice across the study area. In structure, the highest ΔK occurred at K = 2 for both no priors (4.0444, likelihood = −35425.5) and location priors (8.254, likelihood = −36210.3), but were not distinct from any other K (Fig. S2). Furthermore, the majority of q‐values ranged from 0.35 to 0.65, and when plotted, the spatial distribution of the clusters had little clarity (Fig. 3A). Therefore, we considered the most likely K in structure to be 1. Similarly, the modal likelihood for baps was K = 3 (−36022.152), with the vast majority of individuals assigned to a single cluster (900 of 959 individuals). One of the clusters had only nine individuals and was not considered valid, whereas the second primarily occurred within a single study cell (Fig. 3B). Overall, white‐footed mice showed very little genetic structure with no clear spatial structure as observed in chipmunks.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Conversion of formerly continuous native habitats into highly fragmented landscapes can lead to numerous negative demographic and genetic impacts on native taxa that ultimately reduce population viability. In response to concerns over biodiversity loss, numerous investigators have proposed that traits such as body size and ecological specialization influence the sensitivity of species to habitat fragmentation. In this study, we examined how differences in body size and ecological specialization of two rodents (eastern chipmunk; Tamias striatus and white‐footed mouse; Peromyscus leucopus) impact their genetic connectivity within the highly fragmented landscape of the Upper Wabash River Basin (UWB), Indiana, and evaluated whether landscape configuration and complexity influenced patterns of genetic structure similarly between these two species. The more specialized chipmunk exhibited dramatically more genetic structure across the UWB than white‐footed mice, with genetic differentiation being correlated with geographic distance, configuration of intervening habitats, and complexity of forested habitats within sampling sites. In contrast, the generalist white‐footed mouse resembled a panmictic population across the UWB, and no landscape factors were found to influence gene flow. Despite the extensive previous work in abundance and occupancy within the UWB, no landscape factor that influenced occupancy or abundance was correlated with genetic differentiation in either species. The difference in predictors of occupancy, abundance, and gene flow suggests that species‐specific responses to fragmentation are scale dependent.

No MeSH data available.