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The impact of founder events and introductions on genetic variation in the muskox Ovibos moschatus in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Population and Conservation Biology.
2011 (English)In: Acta Theriologica, ISSN 0001-7051, Vol. 56, no 4, 305-314 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The muskox Ovibos moschatus (Zimmerman 1780) is a specialised arctic mammal with a highly fragmented circumpolar distribution, with native populations in Canada and east Greenland and introduced populations in west Greenland, Alaska, Siberia and Eurasia. In 1971, five O. moschatus individuals from an introduced population in Norway migrated to Sweden. After a peak population of 36 individuals in the mid-1980s, the Swedish population now numbers seven individuals, making it vulnerable to both demographic and genetic stochasticity (i.e. inbreeding). Here, we analyse genetic variation among native and introduced populations of O. moschatus to evaluate the genetic effect of sequential founder events in this species. Our results show that genetic variation among native and introduced O. moschatus populations do not conform entirely to the expectations from sequential founder events, most likely because of random processes associated with introduction. In the Swedish population, a calf resulting from the mating of a wild cow and a captive Greenlandic bull contributes significantly to the current genetic variation. Thus, even a single outbreeding event may, at least momentarily, increase the genetic variation and potentially prevent inbreeding depression. Our results should aid the long-term preservation of O. moschatus in Sweden and Europe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 56, no 4, 305-314 p.
Keyword [en]
Supplemental release, Conservation, Restoration, Microsatellites, Bottleneck, Sequential
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168433DOI: 10.1007/s13364-011-0035-zISI: 000299035400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-168433DiVA: diva2:496975
Available from: 2012-02-10 Created: 2012-02-10 Last updated: 2012-02-10Bibliographically approved

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Thulin, Carl-Gustaf
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Population and Conservation Biology
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