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Maintenance of genetic diversity in an introduced island population of guanacos after seven decades and two severe demographic bottlenecks: Implications for camelid conservation

Gonzalez, Benito A., Orozco-terWengel, Pablo, von Borries, Rainer, Johnson, Warren E., Franklin, William L. and Marín, Juan C. 2014. Maintenance of genetic diversity in an introduced island population of guanacos after seven decades and two severe demographic bottlenecks: Implications for camelid conservation. PLoS ONE 9 (3) , e91714. 10.1371/journal.pone.0091714

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Abstract

Fifteen guanacos were introduced to Staats Island in the Falklands/Malvinas archipelago from Patagonia in the 1930s. Twenty five years later, the population was culled from 300 to 10–20 individuals, but quickly rebounded to a population of almost 400 animals that today retain the genetic signature of the founding event and later bottleneck. The goals of this study were to (i) make a genetic assessment of this island population through comparisons with mainland populations and simulations, and (ii) assess the likely source-population of the introduced guanacos. Genetic variation was estimated from 513 bp of mitochondrial DNA sequence and 15 microsatellite loci among 154 guanacos collected from eight localities, including the adjacent mainland and the islands of Tierra del Fuego and Staats Island. Of the 23 haplotypes observed among our samples, the Staats Island population only contained three haplotypes, all of which were shared with the coastal Monte Leon population in southern Patagonia. Mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite variations on Staats Island were comparable to most mainland populations and greater than those observed on Tierra del Fuego. Patterns of genetic structure suggest that the Staats Island guanaco population was founded with animals from southern Patagonia (as opposed to northern Patagonia or Tierra del Fuego), but that effective reductions in population size lasted only a few generations and that surviving animals were a random sample of the pre-bottleneck genetic variation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 13 February 2014
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2019 12:23
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/72621

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