uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Ecological factors drive differentiation in wolves from British Columbia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology.
Show others and affiliations
2009 (English)In: Journal of Biogeography, ISSN 0305-0270, E-ISSN 1365-2699, Vol. 36, no 8, 1516-1531 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim Limited population structure is predicted for vagile, generalist species, such as the grey wolf (Canis lupus L.). Our aims were to study how genetic variability of grey wolves was distributed in an area comprising different habitats that lay within the potential dispersal range of an individual and to make inferences about the impact of ecology on population structure. Location British Columbia, Canada - which is characterized by a continuum of biogeoclimatic zones across which grey wolves are distributed - and adjacent areas in both Canada and Alaska, United States. Methods We obtained mitochondrial DNA control region sequences from grey wolves from across the province and integrated our genetic results with data on phenotype, behaviour and ecology (distance, habitat and prey composition). We also compared the genetic diversity and differentiation of British Columbia grey wolves with those of other North American wolf populations. Results We found strong genetic differentiation between adjacent populations of grey wolves from coastal and inland British Columbia. We show that the most likely factor explaining this differentiation is habitat discontinuity between the coastal and interior regions of British Columbia, as opposed to geographic distance or physical barriers to dispersal. We hypothesize that dispersing grey wolves select habitats similar to the one in which they were reared, and that this differentiation is maintained largely through behavioural mechanisms. Main conclusions The identification of strong genetic structure on a scale within the dispersing capabilities of an individual suggests that ecological factors are driving wolf differentiation in British Columbia. Coastal wolves are highly distinct and representative of a unique ecosystem, whereas inland British Columbia grey wolves are more similar to adjacent populations of wolves located in Alaska, Alberta and Northwest Territories. Given their unique ecological, morphological, behavioural and genetic characteristics, grey wolves of coastal British Columbia should be considered an Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU) and, consequently, warrant special conservation status. If ecology can drive differentiation in a highly mobile generalist such as the grey wolf, ecology probably drives differentiation in many other species as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 36, no 8, 1516-1531 p.
Keyword [en]
Canis lupus, conservation biogeography, ESU, faecal DNA, GPS, landscape genetics, mitochondrial DNA, museum specimens, phylogeography, wolf
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-128359DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2008.02067.xISI: 000268056000009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-128359DiVA: diva2:331389
Available from: 2010-07-22 Created: 2010-07-20 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text
By organisation
Department of Evolutionary BiologyEvolutionary Biology
In the same journal
Journal of Biogeography
Biological Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 373 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf