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Data from: Multi-generational genetic consequences of reinforcement in a bird metapopulation

Cite this dataset

Ranke, Peter S. et al. (2020). Data from: Multi-generational genetic consequences of reinforcement in a bird metapopulation [Dataset]. Dryad.


Translocation of conspecific individuals to reduce extinction risk of small, isolated populations and prevent genetic depletion is a powerful tool in conservation biology. An important question is how the translocated individuals influence the long-term genetic composition of the recipient population. Here, we experimentally reinforced a house sparrow (Passer domesticus) population, and examined the impact of this translocation on allele frequencies, levels of heterozygosity and genetic differentiation over six cohorts. We found no permanent increase in the mean number of alleles across loci or levels of observed heterozygosity, but a few alleles private to the translocated individuals remained in the population and we found a short-term increase in heterozygosity. Consequently, genetic differentiation of the recipient population compared to the genetic composition prior to reinforcement was small. The limited genetic impact was due to combined effects of a small probability of establishment and low mating success for the translocated individuals, together with increased genetic drift in the recipient population. Our findings emphasize the importance of selection and genetic drift as forces that may decrease the genetic contribution of reinforcement, especially in small populations. Conservation managers should aim to improve habitat quality in the recipient population to reduce genetic drift following translocation and thereby avoid the need for continued reinforcement. Furthermore, by facilitating establishment success and selecting individuals expected to have high mating success, possibly indicated by sexually selected traits, genetic contribution of released individuals is increased which in turn will decrease reproductive skew and genetic drift.


Microsatellite data supporting the study of multi-generational genetic consequences of reinforcement in a bird metapopulation. The dataset consists of data on 13 microsatellite markers in house sparrow individuals following a translocation. Blood samples were collected from each individual. The translocated, resident and admixed (translocated+resident) groups comprise the starting population, and individuals present each year is noted under the group variable.

Usage notes

Missing values are depicted with NA.

Column desciption

unique identifier

individual identifier

translocated, resident, admixed, (and whether established or not), then six consecutive years.

rest of the columns are the 13 micro satellite markers
Ase18, Pdo1, Pdo10, Pdo16, Pdo17, Pdo19, Pdo22, Pdo27, Pdo3, Pdo40, Pdo44, Pdo47, Pdo5


The Research Council of Norway, Award: 221956

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

The Research Council of Norway, Award: Centres of Excellence, 223757