Gene flow among native bush rat, Rattus fuscipes (Rodentia: Muridae), populations in the fragmented subtropical forests of south-east Queensland

Macqueen, P. E., Nicholls, J. A., Hazlitt, S. and Goldizen, A. W. (2008) Gene flow among native bush rat, Rattus fuscipes (Rodentia: Muridae), populations in the fragmented subtropical forests of south-east Queensland. Austral Ecology, 33 5: 585-593. doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2008.01879.x


Author Macqueen, P. E.
Nicholls, J. A.
Hazlitt, S.
Goldizen, A. W.
Title Gene flow among native bush rat, Rattus fuscipes (Rodentia: Muridae), populations in the fragmented subtropical forests of south-east Queensland
Journal name Austral Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1442-9985
Publication date 2008-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2008.01879.x
Volume 33
Issue 5
Start page 585
End page 593
Total pages 9
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Subject C1
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
0602 Ecology
Formatted abstract
Many natural populations in areas of continuous habitat exhibit some form of local genetic structure. Anthropogenic habitat fragmentation can also strongly influence the dynamics of gene flow between populations. We used eight microsatellite markers to investigate the population genetic structure of an abundant forest species, the Australian bush rat (Rattus fuscipes), in the subtropical forests of south-east Queensland. Five sites were sampled, allowing pairwise comparisons within continuous habitat and across clearings. Weak, but significant population differentiation and a significant pattern of isolation by distance was detected over the small scale (<10 km) of this study. Fine-scale analysis at a single site (<1 km) showed a significant correlation between individual female genetic distance and geographical distance, but no similar pattern among male individuals. There was no evidence of increased population differentiation across clearings relative to comparisons within continuous forest. This was attributed to dispersal within corridors of remnant and revegetated habitat between the forested areas. We concluded that an inherently restricted dispersal ability, female philopatry and natural habitat heterogeneity play an important part in the development of genetic structure among populations of R. fuscipes. It is important to understand the relationship between landscape features and the pattern of gene flow among continuous populations, as this allows us to predict the impact of fragmentation on natural populations.
Keyword fragmentation
gene flow
isolation by distance
microsatellite
Rattus fuscipes
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

 
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Created: Wed, 10 Dec 2008, 20:41:41 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences