Gene flow and effective population sizes of the Alcon blue butterfly Maculinea alcon in a highly fragmented, anthropogenic landscape: Flash presentation

An Vanden Broeck, Dirk Maes, Andreas Kelager, Irma Wynhoff, Michiel F. Wallis de Vries, David R. Nash, Gerard Oostermeijer, H Van Dyck, Joachim Mergeay

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    Understanding connectivity among populations in fragmented landscapes is of paramount importance in species conservation because it determines their long-term viability and helps to identify and prioritize populations to conserve. Rare and sedentary species are particularly vulnerable to habitat fragmentation as they occupy narrow niches or restricted habitat ranges. Here, we assess contemporary inter-population connectedness of the threatened, myrmecophilous butterfly, Maculinea alcon, in a highly fragmented landscape . We inferred dispersal, effective population sizes, genetic diversity and structure based on 14 locations of M. alcon in Belgium and the Netherlands using data from 12 microsatellite loci. Despite the reported sedentary behaviour of M. alcon, we observed moderate levels of contemporary dispersal between patches, but only in landscapes where populations were located within a distance of 3 km from neighbouring populations. Estimates for effective population sizes (Ne) were very low (ranging from 1.6 to 17.6) and bottleneck events occurred in most of the studied populations. We revise the functional conservation units delineated based on a former mark-release-recapture study, and formulate appropriate conservation strategies to maintain viable (meta)populations in highly fragmented, anthropogenic landscapes.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    Aantal pagina’s5
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2017

    Thematische lijst

    • Soorten en biotopen

    EWI Biomedische wetenschappen

    • B280-dierenecologie
    • verbreiding
    • dispersie
    • populatiegenetica

    Taxonomische lijst

    • vlinders (Lepidoptera)
    • Maculinea alcon
    • Phengaris alcon


    • beheermonitoring
    • biodiversiteitsbeleid

    Geografische lijst

    • Benelux


    • genetische technieken
    • microsatellieten

    Vrije trefwoorden

    • effectieve populatiegrootte
    • genenuitwisseling

    Dit citeren