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Effects of landscape matrix on population connectivity of an arboreal mammal, Petaurus breviceps

Malekian, Mansoureh, Cooper, Steven J. B., Saint, Kathleen M., Lancaster, Melanie L., Taylor, Andrea C. and Carthew, Susan M. (2015). Effects of landscape matrix on population connectivity of an arboreal mammal, Petaurus breviceps. Ecology and Evolution,5(18):3939-3953.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 81144320xPUB85
Title Effects of landscape matrix on population connectivity of an arboreal mammal, Petaurus breviceps
Author Malekian, Mansoureh
Cooper, Steven J. B.
Saint, Kathleen M.
Lancaster, Melanie L.
Taylor, Andrea C.
Carthew, Susan M.
Journal Name Ecology and Evolution
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 5
Issue Number 18
ISSN 2045-7758   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84942371995
Start Page 3939
End Page 3953
Total Pages 15
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation is considered a threat to biodiversity as it can create small, isolated populations that are at increased risk of extinction. Tree-dependent species are predicted to be highly sensitive to forest and woodland loss and fragmentation, but few studies have tested the influence of different types of landscape matrix on gene flow and population structure of arboreal species. Here, we examine the effects of landscape matrix on population structure of the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) in a fragmented landscape in southeastern South Australia. We collected 250 individuals across 12 native Eucalyptus forest remnants surrounded by cleared agricultural land or exotic Pinus radiata plantations and a large continuous eucalypt forest. Fifteen microsatellite loci were genotyped and analyzed to infer levels of population differentiation and dispersal. Genetic differentiation among most forest patches was evident. We found evidence for female philopatry and restricted dispersal distances for females relative to males, suggesting there is male-biased dispersal. Among the environmental variables, spatial variables including geographic location, minimum distance to neighboring patch, and degree of isolation were the most important in explaining genetic variation. The permeability of a cleared agricultural matrix to dispersing gliders was significantly higher than that of a pine matrix, with the gliders dispersing shorter distances across the latter. Our results added to previous findings for other species of restricted dispersal and connectivity due to habitat fragmentation in the same region, providing valuable information for the development of strategies to improve the connectivity of populations in the future.
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Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 4.0 License

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