Movement behavior explains genetic differentiation in American black bears

  • Cushman SA L
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Abstract

Individual-based landscape genetic anal-

yses provide empirically based models of gene ?ow.

It would be valuable to verify the predictions of these

models using independent data of a different type.

Analyses using different data sources that produce

consistent results provide strong support for the

generality of the ?ndings. Mating and dispersal

movements are the mechanisms through which gene

?ow operates in animal populations. The best means

to verify landscape genetic predictions would be to

use movement data to independently predict land-

scape resistance. We used path-level, conditional

logistic regression to predict landscape resistance for

American black bear (Ursus americanus) in a land-

scape in which previous work predicted population

connectivity using individual-based landscape genet-

ics. We found consistent landscape factors in?uence

genetic differentiation and movement path selection,

with strong similarities between the predicted land-

scape resistance surfaces. Genetic differentiation in

American black bear is driven by spring movement

(mating and dispersal) in relation to residential

development, roads, elevation and forest cover.

Given the limited periods of the year when gene

?ow events primarily occur, models of landscape

connectivity should carefully consider temporal

changes in functional landscape resistance.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Black bear
  • Connectivity
  • Landscape genetics
  • Movement behavior
  • Path-level analysis
  • Ursus americanus
  • genetic differentiation

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Authors

  • Lewis J S Cushman SA

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