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Lack of detectable genetic isolation in the cyclic rodent Microtus arvalis despite large landscape fragmentation owing to transportation infrastructures

Citation

Dominguez, JC and Calero-Riestra, M and Olea, PP and Malo, JE and Burridge, CP and Proft, K and Illanas, S and Vinuela, J and Garcia, JT, Lack of detectable genetic isolation in the cyclic rodent Microtus arvalis despite large landscape fragmentation owing to transportation infrastructures, Scientific Reports, 11, (1) Article 12534. ISSN 2045-2322 (2021) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2021 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-021-91824-w

Abstract

Although roads are widely seen as dispersal barriers, their genetic consequences for animals that experience large fluctuations in population density are poorly documented. We developed a spatially paired experimental design to assess the genetic impacts of roads on cyclic voles (Microtus arvalis) during a high-density phase in North-Western Spain. We compared genetic patterns from 15 paired plots bisected by three different barrier types, using linear mixed models and computing effect sizes to assess the importance of each type, and the influence of road features like width or the age of the infrastructure. Evidence of effects by roads on genetic diversity and differentiation were lacking. We speculate that the recurrent (each 3-5 generations) episodes of massive dispersal associated with population density peaks can homogenize populations and mitigate the possible genetic impact of landscape fragmentation by roads. This study highlights the importance of developing spatially replicated experimental designs that allow us to consider the large natural spatial variation in genetic parameters. More generally, these results contribute to our understanding of the not well explored effects of habitat fragmentation on dispersal in species showing "boom-bust" dynamics.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
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:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Burridge, CP (Associate Professor Christopher Burridge)
UTAS Author:Proft, K (Ms Kirstin Proft)
ID Code:144825
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2021-06-16
Last Modified:2021-09-14
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