Data from: Linking genetic diversity and temporal fluctuations in population abundance of the introduced feral cat (Felis silvestris catus) on the Kerguelen Archipelago.
Devillard, Sébastien; Santin-Janin, Hugues; Say, Ludovic; Pontier, Dominique (2011), Data from: Linking genetic diversity and temporal fluctuations in population abundance of the introduced feral cat (Felis silvestris catus) on the Kerguelen Archipelago., Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5n4np5df
Linking temporal variations of genetic diversity, including allelic richness and heterozygosity, and spatio-temporal fluctuations in population abundance has emerged as an important tool for understanding demographic and evolutionary processes in natural populations. This so-called ‘genetic monitoring’ was conducted across 12 consecutive years (1996-2007) at three sites for the feral cat, introduced onto the Kerguelen Archipelago fifty years ago. Temporal changes in allelic richness and heterozygosity at 18 microsatellite DNA loci were compared to temporal changes in the adult population abundance index, obtained by typical demographic monitoring. No association was found at the island spatial scale but we observed an association between genetic diversity and adult population indices from year to year within each study site. More particularly, the magnitude of successive increases or decreases in the adult population abundance index appeared to be the major factor linking the trajectories of genetic diversity and adult population abundance indices. Natal dispersal and/or local recruitment, both facilitated by high juvenile survival when the adult population size is small, are proposed as the major demographic processes contributing to such an observed pattern. Finally, we suggested avoiding the use of the harmonic mean as an estimator of long-term population size to study the relationships between demographic fluctuations and heterozygosity in populations characterized by strong multi-annual density fluctuations.