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Spatial structure in European moose (Alces alces): genetic data reveal a complex population history

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Moose, Alces alces (Linnaeus, 1758), survived the European Pleistocene glaciations in multiple southern refugia, in a northern refugium near the Carpathians and possibly in other locations. During the second millennium ad, moose were nearly extirpated in Europe and only recolonized their current range after World War II. The number and location of refugia during the Pleistocene and recent population lows may have affected the current genetic diversity. We sought to characterize the genetic diversity in European moose in order to determine its genetic structure and the location of genetic hotspots as a way of inferring its population history and the number of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) refugia.
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Keywords: Anthropogenic influences; Last Glacial Maximum; bottleneck; effective population size; expansion; genetic structure; mtDNA; north‐eastern Europe; phylogeography; refugia

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2014

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