Browsing by Subject "MATING SYSTEM"

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  • Santangeli, Andrea; Wistbacka, Ralf; Morosinotto, Chiara; Raulo, Aura (2019)
    Intact ecosystems are being lost or modified worldwide, and many animal species are now forced to live in altered landscapes. A large amount of scientific studies have focused on understanding direct effects of habitat alterations on species occurrence, abundance, breeding success, and other life history aspects. Much less attention has been placed on understanding how habitat alterations impact on the physiology of species, e.g., via elevated chronic stress when living in an altered landscape. Here, we quantify the effects of individual age and sex, as well as effects of landscape and social factors on chronic stress of an endangered forest specialist species, the Siberian flying squirrel Pteromys volans. We collected hair samples over 2years from across 192 flying squirrels and quantified their chronic stress response via cortisol concentrations. We then ran statistical models to relate cortisol concentrations with landscape and social factors. We show that cortisol concentrations in flying squirrels are neither affected by habitat amount and connectivity, nor by the density of conspecifics in the area. We however found that cortisol concentration was higher in adults than in pups, and in males compared with females. Lack of an effect of environmental factors on cortisol concentrations may indicate low physiological sensitivity to alterations in the surrounding environment, possibly due to low densities of predators that could induce stress in the study area. Further research should focus on possible effects of varying predator densities, alone and in interaction with landscape features, in shaping chronic stress of this and other species.
  • Fountain, Toby; Butlin, Roger K.; Reinhardt, Klaus; Otti, Oliver (2015)
    In some species, populations with few founding individuals can be resilient to extreme inbreeding. Inbreeding seems to be the norm in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, a flightless insect that, nevertheless, can reach large deme sizes and persist successfully. However, bed bugs can also be dispersed passively by humans, exposing inbred populations to gene flow from genetically distant populations. The introduction of genetic variation through this outbreeding could lead to increased fitness (heterosis) or be costly by causing a loss of local adaptation or exposing genetic incompatibility between populations (outbreeding depression). Here, we addressed how inbreeding within demes and outbreeding between distant populations impact fitness over two generations in this re-emerging public health pest. We compared fitness traits of families that were inbred (mimicking reproduction following a founder event) or outbred (mimicking reproduction following a gene flow event). We found that outbreeding led to increased starvation resistance compared to inbred families, but this benefit was lost after two generations of outbreeding. No other fitness benefits of outbreeding were observed in either generation, including no differences in fecundity between the two treatments. Resilience to inbreeding is likely to result from the history of small founder events in the bed bug. Outbreeding benefits may only be detectable under stress and when heterozygosity is maximized without disruption of coadaptation. We discuss the consequences of these results both in terms of inbreeding and outbreeding in populations with genetic and spatial structuring, as well as for the recent resurgence of bed bug populations.
  • Leinonen, Tuomas; Piironen, Jorma; Koljonen, Marja-Liisa; Koskiniemi, Jarmo; Kause, Antti (2020)
    Supplementing endangered fish populations with captive bred individuals is a common practice in conservation management. The aim of supplementary releases from hatchery broodstocks is to maintain the viability of populations by maintaining their genetic diversity. Landlocked Lake Saimaa salmon (Salmo salar m. sebago) has been critically endangered for the past half-century. As a result of anthropogenic disturbance, especially construction of hydroelectric power plants, the Lake Saimaa salmon has become completely dependent on hatchery broodstock. Recently, habitat restoration has been done in one of the former spawning rivers with the aim of creating a new natural spawning ground for the critically endangered population. Hatchery fish releases have also been revised so that in addition to juveniles, adult fish from the hatchery and from the wild have been released into the restored river. We assessed here if a restored river stretch can be used as a natural spawning ground and juvenile production area with the aim of improving genetic diversity of the critically endangered Lake Saimaa salmon. By constructing a pedigree of the released adults, and juveniles sampled from the restored river, we found that the majority of the released adults had produced offspring in the river. We also found that wild-caught spawners that were released into the restored river had much higher reproductive success than hatchery-reared parents that were released into the restored river at the same time. We found no significant differences in genetic diversity between the parent and offspring generations. Meanwhile, relatedness among different groups of adults and juveniles varied a lot. For example, while the hatchery-reared females were on average half-siblings, wild-caught females showed no significant relatedness. This highlights the importance of using pedigree information in planning the conservation and management of endangered populations, especially when artificial propagation is involved.
  • Nonaka, Etsuko; Kaitala, Veijo (2020)
    Many parasitoids have single-locus complementary sex determination (sl-CSD), which produces sterile or inviable males when homozygous at the sex determining locus. A previous study theoretically showed that small populations have elevated risks of extinction due to the positive feedback between inbreeding and small population size, referred to as the diploid male vortex. A few modeling studies have suggested that the diploid male vortex may not be as common because balancing selection at sex determining loci tends to maintain high allelic diversity in spatially structured populations. However, the generality of the conclusion is yet uncertain, as they were drawn either from models developed for particular systems or from a general-purpose competition model. To attest the conclusion, we study several well-studied host-parasitoid models that incorporate functional response specifying the number of attacked hosts given a host density and derive the conditions for a diploid male vortex in a single population. Then, we develop spatially structured individual-based versions of the models to include female behavior, diploid male fertility, and temporal fluctuations. The results show that producing a handful of successful offspring per female parasitoid could enable parasitoid persistence when a typical number of CSD alleles are present. The effect of functional response depends on the levels of fluctuations in host abundance, and inviable or partially fertile diploid males and a small increase in dispersal can alleviate the risk of a diploid male vortex. Our work supports the generality of effective genetic rescue in spatially connected parasitoid populations with sl-CSD. However, under more variable climate, the efficacy of the CSD mechanism may substantially decline.