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Human impact has contributed to the decline of the Eurasion lynx

Disentangling the contribution of long?term evolutionary processes and recent anthropogenic impacts to current genetic patterns of wildlife species is key to assessing genetic risks and designing conservation strategies. Eighty whole nuclear genomes and 96 mitogenomes from populations of the Eurasian lynx covering a range of conservation statuses, climatic zones and subspecies across Eurasia were used to infer the demographic history, reconstruct genetic patterns, and discuss the influence of long?term isolation and more recent human?driven changes. Results show that Eurasian lynx populations shared a common history until 100,000 years ago, when Asian and European populations started to diverge and both entered a period of continuous and widespread decline, with western populations, except Kirov (Russia), maintaining lower effective sizes than eastern populations. Population declines and increased isolation in more recent times probably drove the genetic differentiation between geographically and ecologically close westernmost European populations. By contrast, and despite the wide range of habitats covered, populations are quite homogeneous genetically across the Asian range, showing a pattern of isolation by distance and providing little genetic support for the several proposed subspecies. Mitogenomic and nuclear divergences and population declines starting during the Late Pleistocene can be mostly attributed to climatic fluctuations and early human influence, but the widespread and sustained decline since the Holocene is more probably the consequence of anthropogenic impacts which intensified in recent centuries, especially in western Europe. Genetic erosion in isolated European populations and lack of evidence for long?term isolation argue for the restoration of lost population connectivity between European and Asian poulations. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Lucena-Perez et al (2020). Genomic patterns in the widespread Eurasian lynx shaped by Late Quaternary climatic fluctuations and anthropogenic impacts. MOL ECOL 29(4) DOI 10.1111/mec.15366


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mec.15366
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Mirror, mirror! Where should I settle?

Mirror, mirror! Where should I settle?

The matching habitat choice hypothesis holds that individuals with different phenotypes select the habitats to which they are best adapted to maximize fitness. Despite the potential implications of matching habitat choice for many ecological and evolutionary processes, very few studies have tested its predictions. Here, a 26-year dataset on a spatially structured population of pied flycatchers is used to test whether phenotype-dependent dispersal and habitat selection translate into increased fitness (recruitment success). In this study system, males at the extremes of the body size range segregate into deciduous and coniferous forests through nonrandom dispersal. According to the matching habitat choice hypothesis, fitness of large males is expected to be higher in the deciduous habitat, where they preferentially settle to breed, while the reverse would be true for small males, which are more frequent in the coniferous forest. In the coniferous forest, males at the middle of the size range had higher fitness than both large and small-sized males. However, no clear trend was observed in the deciduous forest, where males of either size had similar fitness. These results do not provide positive support for the hypothesis' predictions and, therefore, a conclusive demonstration of its operation and occurrence in nature remains to be done. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Camacho et al (2015) Testing the matching habitat choice hypothesis in nature: phenotype-environment correlation and fitness in a songbird population. Evol Ecol 29: 873–886; DOI 10.1007/s10682-015-9793-4


http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10682-015-9793-4