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Data from:Identification of landscape features influencing gene flow: how useful are habitat selection models?

Citation

Roffler, Gretchen H. et al. (2016), Data from:Identification of landscape features influencing gene flow: how useful are habitat selection models?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bq5rj

Abstract

Understanding how dispersal patterns are influenced by landscape heterogeneity is critical for modelling species connectivity. Resource selection function (RSF) models are increasingly used in landscape genetics approaches. However, because the ecological factors that drive habitat selection may be different from those influencing dispersal and gene flow, it is important to consider their explicit assumptions. We calculated pairwise genetic distances among 301 Alaskan Dall’s sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) using an intensive sampling effort and 15 microsatellite loci. We used multiple regression of distance matrices to assess the correlation of pairwise genetic distance and landscape resistance derived from an RSF, and combinations of landscape features hypothesized to influence dispersal. Dall’s sheep gene flow was positively correlated with steep slopes, moderate peak normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), and open land cover. Whereas RSF covariates were significant in predicting genetic distance, the RSF model itself was not significantly correlated with Dall’s sheep gene flow, suggesting that certain habitat features important seasonally (rugged terrain, mid-range elevation) were not influential to breeding dispersal. This work underscores that consideration of both habitat selection and landscape genetics models in developing conservation strategies will ensure resources are managed to meet both the immediate survival needs of a species and allow for long-term genetic connectivity.

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