Genetic structure and diversity of a rare woodland bat, Myotis bechsteinii: comparison of continental Europe and Britain

Wright, Patrick G R, Hamilton, Patrick B, Schofield, Henry, Glover, Anita, Damant, Christopher, Davidson-Watts, Ian and Mathews, Fiona (2018) Genetic structure and diversity of a rare woodland bat, Myotis bechsteinii: comparison of continental Europe and Britain. Conservation Genetics, 19 (4). pp. 777-787. ISSN 1566-0621

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)

Abstract

The Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) is a rare sedentary bat considered to be highly reliant on the presence of ancient woodland. Understanding the genetic connectivity and population structure of such elusive mammals is important for assessing their conservation status. In this study, we report the genetic diversity and structure of M. bechsteinii across Britain and Europe. Assessments were made using 14 microsatellite markers and a 747 bp region of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Nuclear DNA (microsatellites) showed high levels of genetic diversity and little inbreeding across the species range, though genetic diversity was slightly lower in Britain than in mainland Europe. Bayesian and spatial PCA analysis showed a clear separation between the British and European sites. Within Europe, the Italian population south of the Alps was isolated from the other sites. In Britain, there was genetic structuring between the northern and southern part of the geographical range. Despite there being little genetic divergence in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences throughout most of Europe, the mtDNA patterns in Britain confirmed this separation of northern and southern populations. Such genetic structuring within Britain—in the absence of any obvious physical barriers—suggests that other factors such as land-use may limit gene-flow.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0001 Natural history (General) > QH0075 Nature conservation
Depositing User: Fiona Mathews
Date Deposited: 15 May 2019 09:22
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 15:16
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/83723

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update