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Scholarly Communication

Effective population sizes and migration rates in fragmented populations of an endangered insect (Coenagrion mercuriale: Odonata)

Watts, Phillip C.; Saccheri, Ilik J.; Kemp, Stephen J. and Thompson, David J. (2007) Effective population sizes and migration rates in fragmented populations of an endangered insect (Coenagrion mercuriale: Odonata). Journal of Animal Ecology, 76 (4). pp. 790-800. ISSN 1365-2656 (Online); 0021-8790 (Print)

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Cited 15 times in WoS


Summary 1. Effective population sizes (Ne) and migration rates (m ) are critical evolutionary parameters that impact on population survival and determine the relative influence of selection and genetic drift. While the parameter m is well-studied in animal populations, Ne remains challenging to measure and consequently is only rarely estimated, particularly in insect taxa. 2. We used demographic and genetic methods to estimate N e and m in a fragmented population of the endangered damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale to better understand the contrast between genetic and field estimates of these parameters and also to identify the spatial scale over which populations may become locally adapted. 3. We found a contrast between demographic- and genetic-based estimates of these parameters, with the former apparently providing overestimates of N e , owing to substantial underestimation of the variance in reproductive success, and the latter overestimating m , because spatial genetic structure is weak. 4. The overall N e of sites within the population network at Beaulieu Heath, the largest C. mercuriale site in the UK, was estimated to vary between approximately 60 and 2700. 5. While N e was not correlated with either the total numbers of adults ( N ) or the area of habitat, this parameter was always less than N , because of substantial variance in reproductive success. The ratio N e / N varied between 0·006 and 0·42 and was generally larger in smaller populations, possibly representing some ‘genetic compensation’. 6. From a simple genetic model and these data on N e and m , it seems that populations of C. mercuriale have the potential to respond to localized spatial variation in selection and this would need to be considered for future genetic management of this endangered species.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Published article online: 21 May 2007. Issue online: 19 Jun 2007.
Uncontrolled Keywords:capture–mark–recapture; conservation; genetic drift; migration; Ne.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Science > Department of Biological Sciences
Publisher's Statement:Author Posting. © The Authors 2007. The full text of this article is published in Journal of Animal Ecology Volume 76 Issue 4 Page 790-800. It is available online from Blackwell-Synergy at 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01249.x N.B.The full text of this Article will be made freely available via Blackwell-Synergy 2 years after publication.
ID Code:229
Deposited On:11 Aug 2008 12:20
Last Modified:17 Jul 2013 15:45

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