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The effects of weather variability on patterns of genetic diversity in Tasmanian bettongs


Proft, KM and Bateman, BL and Johnson, CN and Jones, ME and Pauza, M and Burridge, CP, The effects of weather variability on patterns of genetic diversity in Tasmanian bettongs, Molecular Ecology, 30, (8) pp. 1777-1790. ISSN 0962-1083 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Available from 01 May 2022

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1111/mec.15847


While the effects of climate (long‐term, prevailing weather) on species abundance, range and genetic diversity have been widely studied, short‐term, localized variations in atmospheric conditions (i.e., weather) can also rapidly alter species’ geographical ranges and population sizes, but little is known about how they affect genetic diversity. We investigated the relationship between weather and range‐wide genetic diversity in a marsupial, Bettongia gaimardi, using dynamic species distribution models (SDMs). Genetic diversity was lower in parts of the range where the weather‐based SDM predicted high variability in probability of B. gaimardi occurrence during 1950–2009. This is probably an effect of lower population sizes and extinction–recolonization cycles in places with highly variable weather. Spatial variation in genetic diversity was also better predicted by mean probabilities of B. gaimardi occurrence from weather‐ than climate‐based SDMs. Our results illustrate the importance of weather in driving population dynamics and species distributions on decadal timescales and thereby in affecting genetic diversity. Modelling the links between changing weather patterns, species distributions and genetic diversity will allow researchers to better forecast biological impacts of climate change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dynamic species distribution models, environmental variability, genetic diversity, population dynamics, weather, population genetics
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Genetics not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Proft, KM (Ms Kirstin Proft)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
UTAS Author:Jones, ME (Professor Menna Jones)
UTAS Author:Burridge, CP (Associate Professor Christopher Burridge)
ID Code:143981
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP130100949)
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2021-04-13
Last Modified:2021-07-28

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