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Population genetic structures at multiple spatial scales: importance of social groups in European badgers

Abstract : Abstract Population viability and metapopulation dynamics are strongly affected by gene flow. Identifying ecological correlates of genetic structure and gene flow in wild populations is therefore a major issue both in evolutionary ecology and species management. Studying the genetic structure of populations also enables identification of the spatial scale at which most gene flow occurs, hence the scale of the functional connectivity, which is of paramount importance for species ecology. In this study, we examined the genetic structure of a social, continuously distributed mammal, the European badger (Meles meles), both at large spatial scales (among populations) and fine (within populations) spatial scales. The study was carried out in 11 sites across France utilizing a noninvasive hair trapping protocol at 206 monitored setts. We identified 264 badgers genotyped at 24 microsatellite DNA loci. At the large scale, we observed high and significant genetic differentiation among populations (global Fst = 0.139; range of pairwise Fst [0.046–0.231]) that was not related to the geographic distance among sites, suggesting few large-scale dispersal events. Within populations, we detected a threshold value below which badgers were genetically close (< 400 m), highlighting that sociality is the major structuring process within badger populations at the fine scale.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03256002
Contributor : Ludovic Say Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 6:39:57 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 5:20:04 PM

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Mickaël Jacquier, Jean-Michel Vandel, François Léger, Jeanne Duhayer, Sylvia Pardonnet, et al.. Population genetic structures at multiple spatial scales: importance of social groups in European badgers. Journal of Mammalogy, American Society of Mammalogists, 2020, 101 (5), pp.1380-1391. ⟨10.1093/jmammal/gyaa090⟩. ⟨hal-03256002⟩

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