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Data from: Fine-scale landscape genetics of the American badger (Taxidea taxus): disentangling landscape effects and sampling artifacts in a poorly understood species

Citation

Kierepka, Elizabeth M.; Latch, Emily K. (2015), Data from: Fine-scale landscape genetics of the American badger (Taxidea taxus): disentangling landscape effects and sampling artifacts in a poorly understood species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mr909

Abstract

Landscape genetics is a powerful tool for conservation because it identifies landscape features that are important for maintaining genetic connectivity between populations within heterogeneous landscapes. However, using landscape genetics in poorly understood species presents a number of challenges, namely, limited life history information for the focal population and spatially biased sampling. Both obstacles can reduce power in statistics, particularly in individual-based studies. In this study, we genotyped 233 American badgers in Wisconsin at 12 microsatellite loci to identify alternative statistical approaches that can be applied to poorly understood species in an individual-based framework. Badgers are protected in Wisconsin owing to an overall lack in life history information, so our study utilized partial redundancy analysis (RDA) and spatially lagged regressions to quantify how three landscape factors (Wisconsin River, Ecoregions and land cover) impacted gene flow. We also performed simulations to quantify errors created by spatially biased sampling. Statistical analyses first found that geographic distance was an important influence on gene flow, mainly driven by fine-scale positive spatial autocorrelations. After controlling for geographic distance, both RDA and regressions found that Wisconsin River and Agriculture were correlated with genetic differentiation. However, only Agriculture had an acceptable type I error rate (3–5%) to be considered biologically relevant. Collectively, this study highlights the benefits of combining robust statistics and error assessment via simulations and provides a method for hypothesis testing in individual-based landscape genetics.

Usage Notes

Location

USA
Wisconsin