Food availability and population structure: How do clumped and abundant sources of carrion affect the genetic diversity of the black-backed jackal?

James, RS, Scott, DM, Yarnell, RW ORCID: 0000-0001-6584-7374 and Overall, ADJ, 2016. Food availability and population structure: How do clumped and abundant sources of carrion affect the genetic diversity of the black-backed jackal? Journal of Zoology, 301 (3), pp. 184-192. ISSN 0952-8369

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Abstract

Carnivores frequently come into conflict with humans in agricultural and livestock- producing areas around the world. Understanding their fidelity and dispersal patterns in response to food availability is therefore important given the effort invested in conflict mitigation strategies. In this study, we investigated the influence of clumped and abundant sources of carrion on the genetic diversity of the black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas within six private game farms in the North-West and Gauteng provinces of South Africa. It is predicted that clumped and abundant sources of carrion will increase immigration and thus genetic diversity in the local subpopulation. By quantifying the variability in microsatellite loci in black-backed jackals subjected to artificially increased carrion availability, and comparing them with individuals from control sites, we were able to describe patterns of historic gene flow within the total sampled population. The results of this investigation indicate that clumped and abundant sources of carrion promote genetic structuring (FST = 0.0302) which implies a lack of gene flow and a degree of isolation. Genetic artefacts of three populations could be identified through Bayesian clustering analysis of individuals based on their genetic identity. Individuals sampled from the two supplementary feeding sites could be assigned to one of two ancestral populations with an average population assignment of 69 and 82%, while individuals from the remaining four control sites, originate from a third population with percentage assignments of 63%, 46%, 53% and 42%. It is therefore likely that clumped and abundant sources of carrion in the agricultural landscape of South Africa can affect the population dynamics of the black-backed jackal and result in subpopulations with limited migration and dispersal when compared with the total population.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Zoology
Creators: James, R.S., Scott, D.M., Yarnell, R.W. and Overall, A.D.J.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Date: 2016
Volume: 301
Number: 3
ISSN: 0952-8369
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1111/jzo.12407DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 02 Nov 2016 11:16
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:08
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29014

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