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Messing about on the river: the role of geographic barriers in shaping the genetic structure of Bornean small mammals in a fragmented landscape

Brunke, Jennifer, Radespiel, Ute, Russo, Isa-Rita, Bruford, Michael W and Goossens, Benoit 2019. Messing about on the river: the role of geographic barriers in shaping the genetic structure of Bornean small mammals in a fragmented landscape. Conservation Genetics 20 (4) , pp. 691-704. 10.1007/s10592-019-01159-3

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Abstract

Landscape features may restricting dispersal and gene flow, and increase demographic isolation among sub-populations. In addition, landscape features may represent potential dispersal barriers depending on species vagility. To predict the persistence of populations and to formulate adequate conservation measures it is essential to understand the ability of species to transverse landscape barriers. Using population genetic techniques we assessed the importance of physical barriers along the Kinabatangan River for a suite of non-volant small mammals. Cytochrome b sequence variation was examined for each of the 19 species sampled across both riverbanks. Haplotype networks and molecular variance analyses indicated contrasting patterns of genetic isolation between riversides for different taxa. Genetic isolation between riversides ranged from moderate to complete in tree shrews and squirrels, whereas no isolating effect could be detected in murids and gymnures. Although genetic divergence between forest fragments on the same side of the river could only be studied in a subset of six species, the results suggest an additional dispersal barrier for two of these studied species. While barrier effects of a paved road and tributaries could not be verified, large oil palm plantations seem to have disrupted gene flow in these species. Furthermore, the findings suggest higher genetic connectivity on the more continuously forested compared to the more fragmented riverside, and underline the importance of forest corridors as essential conservation measures to maintain genetic diversity in a fragmented landscape such as that along the Kinabatangan River.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Biosciences
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1566-0621
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 11 February 2019
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2019 22:20
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/119871

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