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27 December 2015 Spatio-temporal genetic structure of the rodent Calomys venustus in linear, fragmented habitats
Marina B. Chiappero, Lucía V. Sommaro, José W. Priotto, María Paula Wiernes, Andrea R. Steinmann, Cristina N. Gardenal
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Abstract

Studies about habitat fragmentation, in terms of how it affects gene flow and genetic variability, have traditionally been conducted on island-like systems in which the remaining habitats form patches embedded in a matrix. However, in agroecosystems, remaining habitats usually form linear strips along fence lines, roads, and water courses (“border” habitats). We used the rodent Calomys venustus, a species inhabiting borders in central Argentina agroecosystems, as a model to address how genetic variability is structured in linear habitats. A total of 359 rodents were captured seasonally from spring 2005 to winter 2006. Genetic variability at microsatellite loci was uniformly high, despite significant variation in population size during the sampling period. Genetic differentiation, spatial autocorrelation, and causal modeling analyses suggested that dispersion patterns in this species depend mainly on geographic distance, with unfavorable habitat like dirt roads and crop fields posing only weak (or no) resistance to dispersal. Small-scale spatial genetic structure was related to different space use patterns by females and males. Our results showed that, although greatly reduced in area, border habitats can support stable populations of species without loss of either variability or genetic connectivity.

© 2015 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org
Marina B. Chiappero, Lucía V. Sommaro, José W. Priotto, María Paula Wiernes, Andrea R. Steinmann, and Cristina N. Gardenal "Spatio-temporal genetic structure of the rodent Calomys venustus in linear, fragmented habitats," Journal of Mammalogy 97(2), 424-435, (27 December 2015). https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyv186
Received: 27 February 2015; Accepted: 16 November 2015; Published: 27 December 2015
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