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  • 1.
    Erlandsson, Rasmus
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    Hasselgren, Malin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    Angerbjörn, Anders
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    Norén, Karin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    The resource dispersion hypothesis – a test with a cyclic mesopredatorManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Hasselgren, Malin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Angerbjörn, Anders
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Eide, Nina E.
    Erlandsson, Rasmus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Flagstad, Øystein
    Landa, Arild
    Wallén, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Norén, Karin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Genetic rescue in an inbred Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population2018In: 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)
    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.

  • 3.
    Hasselgren, Malin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Dussex, Nicolas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.
    von Seth, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.
    Angerbjörn, Anders
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Dalén, Love
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Norén, Karin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Genomic consequences of inbreeding and outbreeding in an endangered carnivoreManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Loss of genetic variation through genetic drift and inbreeding is a major threat to small and isolated populations. Although previous studies have generally used genetically verified pedigrees to document effects of inbreeding and gene flow, these often fail to capture the whole inbreeding history. Also, empirical support for a link between genomic inbreeding and fitness is scarce. By sequencing complete genomes of 23 Scandinavian arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) born before and after an immigration event, we here look into the genomic consequences of inbreeding and genetic rescue. We found a significant difference, with 18% higher genome-wide heterozygosity and 81% lower genomic inbreeding in immigrant F1 compared to native individuals. However, more distant descendants of immigrants (F2, F3) did not show the same pattern. We also found that foxes surviving their first year generally had higher heterozygosity and lower inbreeding than non-survivors. Finally, pedigree-based inbreeding correlated with, but underestimated, genomic inbreeding levels. Our results demonstrate a fundamental link between genetic variation and fitness, the transient nature of genetic rescue, and that inbreeding is even more severe than captured from a genetically verified pedigree. Our results have important implications in conservation biology as inbreeding depression can be detected in populations lacking a pedigree.

  • 4.
    Hasselgren, Malin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Norén, Karin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Inbreeding in natural mammal populations: historical perspectives and future challenges2019In: Mammal Review, ISSN 0305-1838, E-ISSN 1365-2907, Vol. 49, no 4, p. 369-383Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The awareness of inbreeding as a potentially harmful process dates several centuries back in time, and occurred early in various religions, cultures, and societies. However, it was not until the 18th Century that the phenomenon was first investigated systematically through breeding experiments in domestic animals and plants. Investigations were followed by the establishment of the theoretical framework in the 19th Century by Darwin, Mendel and other pioneering evolutionary biologists. Throughout the development of this field, from breeding experiments and discoveries of the mechanism of inheritance, via heterozygosity-fitness correlations, construction of pedigrees for natural populations, emergence of the conservation genetics field, to present-day whole genome sequencing of extinct species, mammals have played a crucial role as model organisms and flagship species. In this review, we present a chronological overview of the theoretical development and empirical data on inbreeding in mammals, from the 18th Century to the present day. Furthermore, in relation to the current analytical capacity, we identify gaps in the knowledge and future challenges in the study of inbreeding and inbreeding depression in mammals.

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