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Genetic rescue in an inbred Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4875-4413
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5535-9086
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9207-5709
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2018 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 285, no 1875, article id 20172814Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Isolation of small populations can reduce fitness through inbreeding depression and impede population growth. Outcrossing with only a few unrelated individuals can increase demographic and genetic viability substantially, but few studies have documented such genetic rescue in natural mammal populations. We investigate the effects of immigration in a subpopulation of the endangered Scandinavian arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), founded by six individuals and isolated for 9 years at an extremely small population size. Based on a long-term pedigree (105 litters, 543 individuals) combined with individual fitness traits, we found evidence for genetic rescue. Natural immigration and gene flow of three outbred males in 2010 resulted in a reduction in population average inbreeding coefficient (f), from 0.14 to 0.08 within 5 years. Genetic rescue was further supported by 1.9 times higher juvenile survival and 1.3 times higher breeding success in immigrant first-generation offspring compared with inbred offspring. Five years after immigration, the population had more than doubled in size and allelic richness increased by 41%. This is one of few studies that has documented genetic rescue in a natural mammal population suffering from inbreeding depression and contributes to a growing body of data demonstrating the vital connection between genetics and individual fitness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 285, no 1875, article id 20172814
Keyword [en]
inbreeding depression, immigration, fitness, small population
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Ecology and Evolution; Population Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154497DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2814OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-154497DiVA, id: diva2:1194222
Funder
Interreg Sweden-Norway, 20200939Swedish Research Council Formas, 2015–1526
Available from: 2018-03-29 Created: 2018-03-29 Last updated: 2018-04-18

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Hasselgren, MalinAngerbjörn, AndersErlandsson, RasmusWallén, JohanNorén, Karin
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