Male-biased dispersal and female philopatry are common traits among social mammals, often leading to elevated relatedness within social groups. However, exceptions do occur, with documented cases of female-biased dispersal, dispersal by both sexes, and philopatry of both sexes. In this study, we examined levels of dispersal and relatedness based on analyses of the mitochondrial D-loop and 12 nuclear microsatellite markers in the woodland specialist Ussuri tube-nosed bat (Murina ussuriensis), a relatively widespread, yet locally rare species that is thought to be threatened by loss of its forest habitats across its range. A total of 85 individuals were captured in lowland temperate forest on the island of Yakushima and 28 individuals in montane forest in Hokkaido, Japan. In the former, haplotypes showed extreme spatial clustering among females consistent with strong philopatry, but spatial mixing among males suggesting dispersal over short distances. These findings were broadly supported by microsatellite analyses, which indicated considerable genealogical structure within sampling locations but a lack of spatial structure, again indicating that some gene flow does occur in one or both sexes. The Hokkaido data, although limited, did not show these patterns and instead suggest that differences in environmental and behavioral variables may influence movement ecology of individuals at these 2 sites and consequently fine-scale genetic structure within this species.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2