Population structure in an isolated Arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus, population: the impact of geographical barriers
2009 (English)In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, ISSN 0024-4066, E-ISSN 1095-8312, Vol. 97, no 1, 18-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The genetic composition of a population reflects several aspects of the organism and its environment. The Icelandic Arctic fox population exceeds 8000 individuals and is comprised of both coastal and inland foxes. Several factors may affect within-population movement and subsequent genetic population structure. A narrow isthmus and sheep-proof fences may prevent movement between the north-western and central part and glacial rivers may reduce movement between the eastern and central part of Iceland. Moreover, population density and habitat characteristics can influence movement behaviour further. Here, we investigate the genetic structure in the Icelandic Arctic fox population (n = 108) using 10 microsatellite loci. Despite large glacial rivers, we found low divergence between the central and eastern part, suggesting extensive movement between these areas. However, both model- and frequency-based analyses suggest that the north-western part is genetically differentiated from the rest of Iceland (F-ST = 0.04, D-S = 0.094), corresponding to 100-200 generations of complete isolation. This suggests that the fences cannot be the sole cause of divergence. Rather, the isthmus causes limited movement between the regions, implying that protection in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve has a minimal impact on Arctic fox population size in the rest of Iceland. (C) 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 97, 18-26.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 97, no 1, 18-26 p.
coastel, dispersal, divergence, genetic variation, Iceland, inland, isthmus, microsatellites, substructure
Research subject Animal Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29704DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01172.xISI: 000265406800002ISBN: 0024-4066OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-29704DiVA: diva2:234760