Individual variation in dispersal associated with phenotype influences fine-scale genetic structure in weasels

Allan D. McDevitt*, Matthew K. Oliver, Stuart B. Piertney, Paulina A. Szafranska, Marek Konarzewski, Karol Zub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In general, landscape genetic studies have ignored the potential role that the phenotype of individuals plays in determining fine-scale genetic structure in species. This potential over-simplification ignores an important component that dispersal is both condition- and phenotype-dependent. In order to investigate the relationship between potential dispersal, habitat selection and phenotype, we examined the spatial ecology, body mass and fine-scale genetic structure of weasels (Mustela nivalis) in BiaowieA1/4a Forest in Poland. Our study population is characterized by an almost three-fold phenotypic variation in adult body mass and weasels were segregated in certain habitats according to size. We detected significant genetic structuring associated with habitat within the studied area and analyses of radio-tracking and re-capture data showed that the maximum extent of movement was achieved by weasels of medium body size, whereas the smallest and largest individuals exhibited higher site fidelity. With the unrestricted movement of the medium-sized individuals across optimal habitat, genetic admixture does occur. However, the presence of a barrier leads to unidirectional gene flow, with larger individuals outcompeting smaller individuals and therefore maintaining the genetic break in the study area. This highlights the importance of considering both intrinsic (phenotype) and extrinsic (environmental) factors in understanding dispersal patterns and ultimately, gene flow in complex landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-509
Number of pages11
JournalConservation Genetics
Volume14
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jun 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Anthropogenic barrier
  • Body mass
  • Habitat selection
  • Intra-specific competition
  • Microsatellites
  • Mustela nivalis
  • Radio-tracking
  • Sex-biased dispersal
  • BIALOWIEZA-NATIONAL-PARK
  • MULTILOCUS GENOTYPE DATA
  • SEX-BIASED DISPERSAL
  • MINK MUSTELA-VISON
  • POPULATION-STRUCTURE
  • LANDSCAPE GENETICS
  • ACTIVITY PATTERNS
  • DECIDUOUS FOREST
  • METABOLIC-RATES
  • SMALL MAMMALS

Cite this

Individual variation in dispersal associated with phenotype influences fine-scale genetic structure in weasels. / McDevitt, Allan D.; Oliver, Matthew K.; Piertney, Stuart B.; Szafranska, Paulina A.; Konarzewski, Marek; Zub, Karol.

In: Conservation Genetics, Vol. 14, No. 2, 04.2013, p. 499-509.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McDevitt, Allan D. ; Oliver, Matthew K. ; Piertney, Stuart B. ; Szafranska, Paulina A. ; Konarzewski, Marek ; Zub, Karol. / Individual variation in dispersal associated with phenotype influences fine-scale genetic structure in weasels. In: Conservation Genetics. 2013 ; Vol. 14, No. 2. pp. 499-509.
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abstract = "In general, landscape genetic studies have ignored the potential role that the phenotype of individuals plays in determining fine-scale genetic structure in species. This potential over-simplification ignores an important component that dispersal is both condition- and phenotype-dependent. In order to investigate the relationship between potential dispersal, habitat selection and phenotype, we examined the spatial ecology, body mass and fine-scale genetic structure of weasels (Mustela nivalis) in BiaowieA1/4a Forest in Poland. Our study population is characterized by an almost three-fold phenotypic variation in adult body mass and weasels were segregated in certain habitats according to size. We detected significant genetic structuring associated with habitat within the studied area and analyses of radio-tracking and re-capture data showed that the maximum extent of movement was achieved by weasels of medium body size, whereas the smallest and largest individuals exhibited higher site fidelity. With the unrestricted movement of the medium-sized individuals across optimal habitat, genetic admixture does occur. However, the presence of a barrier leads to unidirectional gene flow, with larger individuals outcompeting smaller individuals and therefore maintaining the genetic break in the study area. This highlights the importance of considering both intrinsic (phenotype) and extrinsic (environmental) factors in understanding dispersal patterns and ultimately, gene flow in complex landscapes.",
keywords = "Anthropogenic barrier, Body mass, Habitat selection, Intra-specific competition, Microsatellites, Mustela nivalis, Radio-tracking, Sex-biased dispersal, BIALOWIEZA-NATIONAL-PARK, MULTILOCUS GENOTYPE DATA, SEX-BIASED DISPERSAL, MINK MUSTELA-VISON, POPULATION-STRUCTURE, LANDSCAPE GENETICS, ACTIVITY PATTERNS, DECIDUOUS FOREST, METABOLIC-RATES, SMALL MAMMALS",
author = "McDevitt, {Allan D.} and Oliver, {Matthew K.} and Piertney, {Stuart B.} and Szafranska, {Paulina A.} and Marek Konarzewski and Karol Zub",
note = "Acknowledgments This study was supported by Ministry of Science and Higher Education grants 3 P04F 05125 to KZ and 2 P04F 01329 to PAS. ADM and MKO were supported by postdoctoral fellowships under the project BIOCONSUS (Research Potential in Conservation and Sustainable Management of Biodiversity), funded by the European Union 7th Framework Programme (FP7 2010–2013; Agreement No. 245737). We would like to thank our numerous students for help in weasel trapping and technical assistance. Finally, thanks to Ilaria Coscia for comments and advice on analyses and to the two anonymous reviewers for their comments on the manuscript.",
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AU - McDevitt, Allan D.

AU - Oliver, Matthew K.

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AU - Szafranska, Paulina A.

AU - Konarzewski, Marek

AU - Zub, Karol

N1 - Acknowledgments This study was supported by Ministry of Science and Higher Education grants 3 P04F 05125 to KZ and 2 P04F 01329 to PAS. ADM and MKO were supported by postdoctoral fellowships under the project BIOCONSUS (Research Potential in Conservation and Sustainable Management of Biodiversity), funded by the European Union 7th Framework Programme (FP7 2010–2013; Agreement No. 245737). We would like to thank our numerous students for help in weasel trapping and technical assistance. Finally, thanks to Ilaria Coscia for comments and advice on analyses and to the two anonymous reviewers for their comments on the manuscript.

PY - 2013/4

Y1 - 2013/4

N2 - In general, landscape genetic studies have ignored the potential role that the phenotype of individuals plays in determining fine-scale genetic structure in species. This potential over-simplification ignores an important component that dispersal is both condition- and phenotype-dependent. In order to investigate the relationship between potential dispersal, habitat selection and phenotype, we examined the spatial ecology, body mass and fine-scale genetic structure of weasels (Mustela nivalis) in BiaowieA1/4a Forest in Poland. Our study population is characterized by an almost three-fold phenotypic variation in adult body mass and weasels were segregated in certain habitats according to size. We detected significant genetic structuring associated with habitat within the studied area and analyses of radio-tracking and re-capture data showed that the maximum extent of movement was achieved by weasels of medium body size, whereas the smallest and largest individuals exhibited higher site fidelity. With the unrestricted movement of the medium-sized individuals across optimal habitat, genetic admixture does occur. However, the presence of a barrier leads to unidirectional gene flow, with larger individuals outcompeting smaller individuals and therefore maintaining the genetic break in the study area. This highlights the importance of considering both intrinsic (phenotype) and extrinsic (environmental) factors in understanding dispersal patterns and ultimately, gene flow in complex landscapes.

AB - In general, landscape genetic studies have ignored the potential role that the phenotype of individuals plays in determining fine-scale genetic structure in species. This potential over-simplification ignores an important component that dispersal is both condition- and phenotype-dependent. In order to investigate the relationship between potential dispersal, habitat selection and phenotype, we examined the spatial ecology, body mass and fine-scale genetic structure of weasels (Mustela nivalis) in BiaowieA1/4a Forest in Poland. Our study population is characterized by an almost three-fold phenotypic variation in adult body mass and weasels were segregated in certain habitats according to size. We detected significant genetic structuring associated with habitat within the studied area and analyses of radio-tracking and re-capture data showed that the maximum extent of movement was achieved by weasels of medium body size, whereas the smallest and largest individuals exhibited higher site fidelity. With the unrestricted movement of the medium-sized individuals across optimal habitat, genetic admixture does occur. However, the presence of a barrier leads to unidirectional gene flow, with larger individuals outcompeting smaller individuals and therefore maintaining the genetic break in the study area. This highlights the importance of considering both intrinsic (phenotype) and extrinsic (environmental) factors in understanding dispersal patterns and ultimately, gene flow in complex landscapes.

KW - Anthropogenic barrier

KW - Body mass

KW - Habitat selection

KW - Intra-specific competition

KW - Microsatellites

KW - Mustela nivalis

KW - Radio-tracking

KW - Sex-biased dispersal

KW - BIALOWIEZA-NATIONAL-PARK

KW - MULTILOCUS GENOTYPE DATA

KW - SEX-BIASED DISPERSAL

KW - MINK MUSTELA-VISON

KW - POPULATION-STRUCTURE

KW - LANDSCAPE GENETICS

KW - ACTIVITY PATTERNS

KW - DECIDUOUS FOREST

KW - METABOLIC-RATES

KW - SMALL MAMMALS

U2 - 10.1007/s10592-012-0376-4

DO - 10.1007/s10592-012-0376-4

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 499

EP - 509

JO - Conservation Genetics

JF - Conservation Genetics

SN - 1566-0621

IS - 2

ER -