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Data From: Genetic structure of recently fragmented suburban populations of European stag beetle

Cite this dataset

Cox, Karen et al. (2021). Data From: Genetic structure of recently fragmented suburban populations of European stag beetle [Dataset]. Dryad.


Habitat loss and fragmentation due to urbanisation can negatively affect metapopulation persistence when gene flow among populations is reduced and population sizes decrease. Inference of patterns and processes of population connectivity derived from spatial genetic analysis has proven invaluable for conservation and management. However, a more complete account of population dynamics may be obtained by combining spatial and temporal sampling. We, therefore, performed a genetic study on European stag beetle (Lucanus cervus L.) populations in a suburban context using samples collected in three locations and during the period 2002-2016. The sampling area has seen recent landscape changes which resulted in population declines. Through the use of a suite of FST, clustering analysis, individual assignment, and relatedness analysis we assessed fine scale spatiotemporal genetic variation within and among habitat patches using 283 individuals successfully genotyped at 17 microsatellites. Our findings suggested the three locations to hold demographically independent populations, at least over time scales of relevance to conservation, though with higher levels of gene flow in the past. Contrary to expectation from tagging studies, dispersal appeared to be mainly female-biased. Although the life cycle of stag beetle suggests its generations to be discrete, no clear temporal structure was identified, which could be attributed to the varying duration of larval development. Since population bottlenecks were detected and estimates of effective number of breeders were low, conservation actions are eminent which should include the establishment of suitable dead wood for oviposition on both local and regional scales to increase (re)colonisation success and connectivity among current populations.

Usage notes

Genotypes European stag beetle

The csv file shows the microsatellite genotypes of European stag beetle with in the first column the sample codes, in the second the year when the individual was sampled, in the third the municipality, in the fourth the sex, and in the fifth and sixth column the X and Y coordinates, respectively (Lambert-72 coordinates). The next 17 columns represent the different microsatellite markers. Alleles are separated by a forward slash. Missing genotypes and individuals of unknown sex are indicated with 'NA'.