Data from: Modelling the dispersal of the two main hosts of the raccoon rabies variant in heterogeneous environments with landscape genetics
Rioux Paquette, Sébastien et al. (2014), Data from: Modelling the dispersal of the two main hosts of the raccoon rabies variant in heterogeneous environments with landscape genetics, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jr66k
Predicting the geographic spread of wildlife epidemics requires knowledge about the movement patterns of disease hosts or vectors. The field of landscape genetics provides valuable approaches to study dispersal indirectly, which in turn may be used to understand patterns of disease spread. Here, we applied landscape genetic analyses and spatially explicit models to identify the potential path of raccoon rabies spread in a mesocarnivore community. We used relatedness estimates derived from microsatellite genotypes of raccoons and striped skunks to investigate their dispersal patterns in a heterogeneous landscape composed predominantly of agricultural, forested and residential areas. Samples were collected in an area covering 22 000 km2 in southern Québec, where the raccoon rabies variant (RRV) was first detected in 2006. Multiple regressions on distance matrices revealed that genetic distance among male raccoons was strictly a function of geographic distance, while dispersal in female raccoons was significantly reduced by the presence of agricultural fields. In skunks, our results suggested that dispersal is increased in edge habitats between fields and forest fragments in both males and females. Resistance modelling allowed us to identify likely dispersal corridors used by these two rabies hosts, which may prove especially helpful for surveillance and control (e.g. oral vaccination) activities.