GENETIC DIVERSITY AND STRUCTURE OF THE FISHER (MARTES PENNANTI) IN A PENINSULAR AND PERIPHERAL METAPOPULATION

  • Wisely S
  • Buskirk S
  • Russell G
 et al. 
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Abstract

Evolutionary processes can be strongly affected by landscape features. In vagile carnivores that disperse widely, however, genetic structure has been found to be minimal. Using microsatellite DNA primers developed for other mustelids, we found that populations of a vagile forest carnivore, the fisher (Martes pennanti), exhibit high genetic structure (F ST = 0.45, SE = 0.07) and limited gene flow (Nm {}1,600-km narrow strip of forested habitat; that genetic diversity decreases from core to periphery; and that populations do not show an equilibrium pattern of isolation-by-distance. Genetic structure was greater at the periphery than at the core of the distribution and our data fit a 1-dimensional model of stepping-stone range expansion. Multiple lines of paleontological and genetic evidence suggest that the fisher recently ({

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Authors

  • Samantha M. Wisely

  • Steven W. Buskirk

  • Gregory A. Russell

  • Keith B. Aubry

  • William J. Zielinski

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