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.


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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...
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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...
Combined effects of the 4-nonylphenol and fish kairomones on the survival, morphology and life history traits of Daphnia magna Straus
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Daphnia has evolved morphological and life history defenses against predators and these appear to be mediated by chemicals (kairomones) released by the predator. Furthermore, anthropogenic stressors including alkylphenols have been shown to affect several characteristics of Daphnia. Daphnia magna that were grown in the fish-conditioned water and nonfish- conditioned water were exposed to 0.005, 0.01, 0.05, 0.15, 0.5 mg l'1 NP concentrations in the acute toxicity and 0.001, 0.005, 0.01 mg l"1 NP concentratio...
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: