Dietary differentiation and the evolution of population genetic structure in a highly mobile carnivore

Pilot, M., Jedrzejewski, W., Sidorovich, V. E. , Meier-Augenstein, W. and Hoelzel, A. R. (2012) Dietary differentiation and the evolution of population genetic structure in a highly mobile carnivore. PloS One, 7 (6). e39341. ISSN 1932-6203

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039341

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Recent studies on highly mobile carnivores revealed cryptic population genetic structures correlated to transitions in habitat types and prey species composition. This led to the hypothesis that natal-habitat-biased dispersal may be responsible for generating population genetic structure. However, direct evidence for the concordant ecological and genetic differentiation between populations of highly mobile mammals is rare. To address this we analyzed stable isotope profiles (δ13C and δ15N values) for Eastern European wolves (Canis lupus) as a quantifiable proxy measure of diet for individuals that had been genotyped in an earlier study (showing cryptic genetic structure), to provide a quantitative assessment of the relationship between individual foraging behavior and genotype. We found a significant correlation between genetic distances and dietary differentiation (explaining 46 of the variation) in both the marginal test and crucially, when geographic distance was accounted for as a co-variable. These results, interpreted in the context of other possible mechanisms such as allopatry and isolation by distance, reinforce earlier studies suggesting that diet and associated habitat choice are influencing the structuring of populations in highly mobile carnivores. © 2012 Pilot et al.

Keywords:carbon 13, nitrogen 15, allopatry, animal tissue, article, carnivore, controlled study, dietary intake, female, foraging behavior, genetic conservation, genetic correlation, genetic distance, genetic isolation by distance, genetic variability, genotype, isotope labeling, male, nonhuman, population genetic structure, quantitative analysis, species habitat, wolf, Animal Migration, Animals, Biological Evolution, Carbon Isotopes, Carnivory, Diet, Europe, Eastern, Genetics, Population, Geography, Nitrogen Isotopes, Predatory Behavior, Wolves, Canidae, Canis lupus, Mammalia
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C400 Genetics
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:9344
Deposited On:13 May 2013 14:04

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