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Urbanization reduces genetic connectivity in bobcats (Lynx rufus) at both intra‐ and interpopulation spatial scales


Kozakiewicz, CP and Burridge, CP and Funk, WC and Salerno, PE and Trumbo, DR and Gagne, RB and Boydston, EE and Fisher, RN and Lyren, LM and Jennings, MK and Riley, SPD and Serieys, LEK and VandeWoude, S and Crooks, KR and Carver, S, Urbanization reduces genetic connectivity in bobcats (Lynx rufus) at both intra‐ and interpopulation spatial scales, Molecular Ecology, 28, (23) pp. 5068-5085. ISSN 0962-1083 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1111/mec.15274


Urbanization is a major factor driving habitat fragmentation and connectivity loss in wildlife. However, the impacts of urbanization on connectivity can vary among species and even populations due to differences in local landscape characteristics, and our ability to detect these relationships may depend on the spatial scale at which they are measured. Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are relatively sensitive to urbanization and the status of bobcat populations is an important indicator of connectivity in urban coastal southern California. We genotyped 271 bobcats at 13,520 SNP loci to conduct a replicated landscape resistance analysis in five genetically distinct populations. We tested urban and natural factors potentially influencing individual connectivity in each population separately, as well as study–wide. Overall, landscape genomic effects were most frequently detected at the study–wide spatial scale, with urban land cover (measured as impervious surface) having negative effects and topographic roughness having positive effects on gene flow. The negative effect of urban land cover on connectivity was also evident when populations were analyzed separately despite varying substantially in spatial area and the proportion of urban development, confirming a pervasive impact of urbanization largely independent of spatial scale. The effect of urban development was strongest in one population where stream habitat had been lost to development, suggesting that riparian corridors may help mitigate reduced connectivity in urbanizing areas. Our results demonstrate the importance of replicating landscape genetic analyses across populations and considering how landscape genetic effects may vary with spatial scale and local landscape structure.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:bobcat, connectivity, fragmentation, gene flow, landscape genomics, urbanization
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Kozakiewicz, CP (Mr Christopher Kozakiewicz)
UTAS Author:Burridge, CP (Associate Professor Christopher Burridge)
UTAS Author:Carver, S (Associate Professor Scott Carver)
ID Code:136939
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2020-01-22
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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