Strong population structure in a species manipulated by humans since the Neolithic: the European fallow deer (Dama dama dama)

Baker, K. H.
Gray, H. W. I.
Ramovs, V.
Mertzanidou, D.
Bilgin, Cemal Can
Sykes, N.
Hoelzel, A. R.
Species that have been translocated and otherwise manipulated by humans may show patterns of population structure that reflect those interactions. At the same time, natural processes shape populations, including behavioural characteristics like dispersal potential and breeding system. In Europe, a key factor is the geography and history of climate change through the Pleistocene. During glacial maxima throughout that period, species in Europe with temperate distributions were forced south, becoming distributed among the isolated peninsulas represented by Anatolia, Italy and Iberia. Understanding modern patterns of diversity depends on understanding these historical population dynamics. Traditionally, European fallow deer (Dama dama dama) are thought to have been restricted to refugia in Anatolia and possibly Sicily and the Balkans. However, the distribution of this species was also greatly influenced by human-mediated translocations. We focus on fallow deer to better understand the relative influence of these natural and anthropogenic processes. We compared modern fallow deer putative populations across a broad geographic range using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA loci. The results revealed highly insular populations, depauperate of genetic variation and significantly differentiated from each other. This is consistent with the expectations of drift acting on populations founded by small numbers of individuals, and reflects known founder populations in the north. However, there was also evidence for differentiation among (but not within) physically isolated regions in the south, including Iberia. In those regions we find evidence for a stronger influence from natural processes than may be expected for a species with such strong, known anthropogenic influence.


High levels of genetic diversity and population structure in the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica at its easternmost distribution limit
Tutar, Ozge; Ruocco, Miriam; Dattolo, Emanuela; Lacorata, Guglielmo; Corrado, Raffaele; Watteaux, Romain; Iudicone, Daniele; Fach Salihoğlu, Bettina Andrea; Procaccini, Gabriele (2022-09-01)
High levels of genetic diversity and connectivity are crucial for the persistence of local populations, especially at the edge of species' distribution ranges. Here, we assessed the potential and realized connectivity of populations of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica at its easternmost distribution using physical modelling and genetic analyses. Genetic assessments of diversity and gene flow among populations were carried out with 18 microsatellite loci, while oceanographic connectivity was ass...
Broad maternal geographic origin of domestic sheep in Anatolia and the Zagros
Her, Charlotte; Rezaei, Hamid-Reza; Hughes, Sandrine; Naderi, Saeid; Duffraisse, Marilyne; Mashkour, Marjan; Naghash, Hamid-Reza; Balasescu, Adrian; Luikart, Gordon; Jordan, Steve; Ozut, Deniz; KENCE, AYKUT; Bruford, Michael W.; Tresset, Anne; Vigne, Jean-Denis; Taberlet, Pierre; Hanni, Catherine; Pompanon, Francois (2022-03-01)
We investigated the controversial origin of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) using large samples of contemporary and ancient domestic individuals and their closest wild relatives: the Asiatic mouflon (Ovis gmelini), the urial (Ovis vignei) and the argali (Ovis ammon). A phylogeny based on mitochondrial DNA, including 213 new cytochrome-b sequences of wild Ovism confirmed that O. gmelini is the maternal ancestor of sheep and precluded mtDNA contributions from O. vignei (and O. gmelini x O. vignei hybrids) to dome...
Early gene expression divergence between allopatric populations of the house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus)
Bryk, Jaroslaw; Somel, Mehmet; Lorenc, Anna; Teschke, Meike (Wiley, 2013-03-01)
Divergence of gene expression is known to contribute to the differentiation and separation of populations and species, although the dynamics of this process in early stages of population divergence remains unclear. We analyzed gene expression differences in three organs (brain, liver, and testis) between two natural populations of Mus musculus domesticus that have been separated for at most 3000years. We used two different microarray platforms to corroborate the results at a large scale and identified hundr...
Environmental species sorting dominates forest-bird community assembly across scales
Özkan, Korhan; Jeppesen, Erik (2013-01-01)
Environmental species sorting and dispersal are seen as key factors in community assembly, but their relative importance and scale dependence remain uncertain, as the extent to which communities are consistently assembled throughout their biomes. To address these issues, we analysed bird metacommunity structure in a 1200-km2 forested landscape (Istranca Forests) in Turkish Thrace at the margin of the Western Palaearctic (WP) temperate-forest biome. First, we used spatial regressions and Mantel tests to asse...
Patterns of Species Ranges, Speciation, and Extinction
Birand, Aysegul; Vose, Aaron; Gavrilets, Sergey (2012-01-01)
The exact nature of the relationship among species range sizes, speciation, and extinction events is not well understood. The factors that promote larger ranges, such as broad niche widths and high dispersal abilities, could increase the likelihood of encountering new habitats but also prevent local adaptation due to high gene flow. Similarly, low dispersal abilities or narrower niche widths could cause populations to be isolated, but such populations may lack advantageous mutations due to low population si...
Citation Formats
K. H. Baker et al., “Strong population structure in a species manipulated by humans since the Neolithic: the European fallow deer (Dama dama dama),” HEREDITY, pp. 16–26, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: