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Fine-scale population structure and sex-biased dispersal in bobcats (Lynx rufus) from southern Illinois

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In mammal populations, the spatial and genetic structure can be affected by dispersal, philopatry, and relatedness. Bobcats (Lynx rufus (Schreber, 1777)) are thought to exhibit typical mammalian dispersal behaviour where males disperse and females are philopatric, potentially leading to higher relatedness among females compared with males. We used 10 microsatellite loci to examine population structure and sex-biased dispersal in 146 bobcats sampled in southern Illinois during 1993-2001 using population genetic descriptive statistics, a Bayesian clustering algorithm, relatedness (rxy), and autocorrelation analyses. A randomization test demonstrated that female dyads had significantly higher rxy values with respect to randomly selected dyads (rxy = 0.093 ± 0.222, P = 0.012) and spatial autocorrelation analyses determined that females in close proximity (<5 km) had a high probability of being related (P = 0.001). Conversely, rxy values for males were not different from the null distribution (rxy = 0.019 ± 0.122, P = 0.3158) and no significant relationships were found with spatial autocorrelation analysis. Additionally, it was demonstrated that bobcats in southern Illinois approximated a panmictic population with no obvious barriers to gene flow. The pattern of relatedness observed in this study confirmed that females were philopatric and males dispersed, corroborating existing observational data for this species.

Dans les populations de mammifères, les structures spatiales et génétiques peuvent être affectées par la dispersion, la philopatrie et la consanguinité. On pense que les lynx roux (Lynx rufus (Schreber, 1777)) possèdent un comportement de dispersion typique des mammifères dans lequel les mâles se dispersent et les femelles sont philopatriques, ce qui entraîne potentiellement une plus forte parenté entre les femelles qu’entre les mâles. Nous analysons 10 locus microsatellites afin d’étudier la structure de population et la dispersion variable en fonction du sexe chez 146 lynx roux échantillonnés dans le sud de l’Illinois en 1993-2001; nous utilisons des statistiques génétiques descriptives, un algorithme bayésien de groupement et des analyses de parenté (rxy) et d’autocorrélation. Un test de randomisation montre que les dyades femelles ont des valeurs significativement plus élevées de rxy par rapport aux dyades choisies au hasard (rxy = 0,093 ± 0,222, P = 0,012) et les analyses d’autocorrélation spatiale montrent que les femelles rapprochées (<5 km) ont une forte probabilité d’être parentes (P = 0,001). À l’inverse, les valeurs de rxy des mâles ne diffèrent pas de celles d’une distribution nulle (rxy = 0,019 ± 0,122, P = 0,3158) et l’analyse d’autocorrélation spatiale ne révèle aucune relation significative. De plus, nous démontrons que les lynx roux du sud de l’Illinois forment presque une population panmixique sans barrière évidente au flux génique. Le patron de parenté observé dans notre étude confirme que les femelles sont philopatriques et que les mâles se dispersent, ce qui corrobore les observations antérieures faites sur cette espèce.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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