Distinguishing past from present gene flow along and across a river: the case of the carnivorous marsupial (Antechinus flavipes) on southern Australian floodplains

Hania Lada, Ralph MAC NALLY, Andrea Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humans have altered many floodplain ecosystems around the world by clearing vegetation, building towns and regulating river flows. Studies discerning gene flow and population structure of floodplain-dwelling animals are rare yet are necessary for understanding the effects of human actions on native populations. In southeastern Australia, the yellow-footed antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) is the only carnivorous marsupial on many lowland floodplains, yet our knowledge of impacts of human activities is limited. The control region of mitochondrial DNA and 11 microsatellite DNA markers were used to explore historic and current gene flow in A. flavipes across and along the Murray River. Simulations were carried out to test different migration models. We found evidence for historic gene flow along and across the river but inferred that small towns and farmland or cleared floodplain sections restricted current gene flow along the river. Populations along the river appear to be isolated, and should be maintained at large enough sizes to avoid genetic problems such as inbreeding depression and loss of evolutionary potential. We also investigated whether 50-year-long maintenance of high water levels for irrigation in summer, at the time of juvenile dispersal, has led to restrictions in gene flow across the river. We found no evidence for restrictions to gene flow across the river and suggest that large floods and dropping tree branches may aid dispersal across the river.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-580
Number of pages12
JournalConservation Genetics
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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Marsupialia
Gene Flow
marsupial
Metatheria
Rivers
floodplains
gene flow
floodplain
rivers
river
towns
Population
inbreeding depression
small town
flow structure
Antechinus flavipes
river flow
mitochondrial DNA
population structure
Mitochondrial DNA

Cite this

@article{a3237942ba3a4b84a6a3732419df8d4a,
title = "Distinguishing past from present gene flow along and across a river: the case of the carnivorous marsupial (Antechinus flavipes) on southern Australian floodplains",
abstract = "Humans have altered many floodplain ecosystems around the world by clearing vegetation, building towns and regulating river flows. Studies discerning gene flow and population structure of floodplain-dwelling animals are rare yet are necessary for understanding the effects of human actions on native populations. In southeastern Australia, the yellow-footed antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) is the only carnivorous marsupial on many lowland floodplains, yet our knowledge of impacts of human activities is limited. The control region of mitochondrial DNA and 11 microsatellite DNA markers were used to explore historic and current gene flow in A. flavipes across and along the Murray River. Simulations were carried out to test different migration models. We found evidence for historic gene flow along and across the river but inferred that small towns and farmland or cleared floodplain sections restricted current gene flow along the river. Populations along the river appear to be isolated, and should be maintained at large enough sizes to avoid genetic problems such as inbreeding depression and loss of evolutionary potential. We also investigated whether 50-year-long maintenance of high water levels for irrigation in summer, at the time of juvenile dispersal, has led to restrictions in gene flow across the river. We found no evidence for restrictions to gene flow across the river and suggest that large floods and dropping tree branches may aid dispersal across the river.",
keywords = "Flood, Gene flow, Microsatellite, Mitochondrial DNA, Murray River.",
author = "Hania Lada and {MAC NALLY}, Ralph and Andrea Taylor",
year = "2008",
doi = "10.1007/s10592-007-9372-5",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
pages = "569--580",
journal = "Conservation Genetics",
issn = "1566-0621",
publisher = "Springer",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Distinguishing past from present gene flow along and across a river: the case of the carnivorous marsupial (Antechinus flavipes) on southern Australian floodplains

AU - Lada, Hania

AU - MAC NALLY, Ralph

AU - Taylor, Andrea

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

N2 - Humans have altered many floodplain ecosystems around the world by clearing vegetation, building towns and regulating river flows. Studies discerning gene flow and population structure of floodplain-dwelling animals are rare yet are necessary for understanding the effects of human actions on native populations. In southeastern Australia, the yellow-footed antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) is the only carnivorous marsupial on many lowland floodplains, yet our knowledge of impacts of human activities is limited. The control region of mitochondrial DNA and 11 microsatellite DNA markers were used to explore historic and current gene flow in A. flavipes across and along the Murray River. Simulations were carried out to test different migration models. We found evidence for historic gene flow along and across the river but inferred that small towns and farmland or cleared floodplain sections restricted current gene flow along the river. Populations along the river appear to be isolated, and should be maintained at large enough sizes to avoid genetic problems such as inbreeding depression and loss of evolutionary potential. We also investigated whether 50-year-long maintenance of high water levels for irrigation in summer, at the time of juvenile dispersal, has led to restrictions in gene flow across the river. We found no evidence for restrictions to gene flow across the river and suggest that large floods and dropping tree branches may aid dispersal across the river.

AB - Humans have altered many floodplain ecosystems around the world by clearing vegetation, building towns and regulating river flows. Studies discerning gene flow and population structure of floodplain-dwelling animals are rare yet are necessary for understanding the effects of human actions on native populations. In southeastern Australia, the yellow-footed antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) is the only carnivorous marsupial on many lowland floodplains, yet our knowledge of impacts of human activities is limited. The control region of mitochondrial DNA and 11 microsatellite DNA markers were used to explore historic and current gene flow in A. flavipes across and along the Murray River. Simulations were carried out to test different migration models. We found evidence for historic gene flow along and across the river but inferred that small towns and farmland or cleared floodplain sections restricted current gene flow along the river. Populations along the river appear to be isolated, and should be maintained at large enough sizes to avoid genetic problems such as inbreeding depression and loss of evolutionary potential. We also investigated whether 50-year-long maintenance of high water levels for irrigation in summer, at the time of juvenile dispersal, has led to restrictions in gene flow across the river. We found no evidence for restrictions to gene flow across the river and suggest that large floods and dropping tree branches may aid dispersal across the river.

KW - Flood

KW - Gene flow

KW - Microsatellite

KW - Mitochondrial DNA

KW - Murray River.

U2 - 10.1007/s10592-007-9372-5

DO - 10.1007/s10592-007-9372-5

M3 - Article

VL - 9

SP - 569

EP - 580

JO - Conservation Genetics

JF - Conservation Genetics

SN - 1566-0621

ER -