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Temporal increase in mtDNA diversity in a declining population
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Functional Genomics.
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2010 (English)In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 19, no 12, 2408-2417 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In small and declining populations levels of genetic variability are expected to be reduced due to effects of inbreeding and random genetic drift. As a result, both individual fitness and populations' adaptability can be compromised, and the probability of extinction increased. Therefore, maintenance of genetic variability is a crucial goal in conservation biology. Here we show that although the level of genetic variability in mtDNA of the endangered Fennoscandian lesser white-fronted goose Anser erythropus population is currently lower than in the neigbouring populations, it has increased sixfold during the past 140 years despite the precipitously declining population. The explanation for increased genetic diversity in Fennoscandia appears to be recent spontaneous increase in male immigration rate equalling 0.56 per generation. This inference is supported by data on nuclear microsatellite markers, the latter of which show that the current and the historical Fennoscandian populations are significantly differentiated (F-ST = 0.046, P = 0) due to changes in allele frequencies. The effect of male-mediated gene flow is potentially dichotomous. On the one hand it may rescue the Fennoscandian lesser white-fronted goose from loss of genetic variability, but on the other hand, it eradicates the original genetic characteristics of this population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 19, no 12, 2408-2417 p.
Keyword [en]
Anser erythropus, effective population size, female philopatry, migration, sex-biased dispersal, temporal genetic variation
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-135543DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04653.xISI: 000278624000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-135543DiVA: diva2:377756
Available from: 2010-12-14 Created: 2010-12-07 Last updated: 2014-01-08Bibliographically approved

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Lundqvist, Anna-Carin
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Evolutionary Functional Genomics
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