Social organization and genetic structure in forest bats

I am happy to say that our recent publication on the insights into social organization and genetic that can be gained from combining spatially explicit capture data with microsatellite analysis of genetic structure is now available online. The study was conducted at Krau Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia, and we focused on three species of Rhinolophus, and three species of Kerivoula.

Although all six species are co-distributed across the large Krau Wildlife Reserve, they have different roosting and social ecologies, and different patterns of local dispersion. This generated predictions of genetic structure at fine to landscape scales. The spatially explicit genotype data did indeed reveal differences in the extent of movement and gene flow and genetic structure across continuous intact forest. As might be expected, highest positive genetic structure was observed in tree-roosting taxa that roost either alone or in small groups, but there was a complete absence of genetic autocorrelation in the cave-roosting colonial species. The study was motivated by the need to understand how interspecific differences in roosting ecology and social structure might influence the natural limits of gene flow in unmodified habitat as a basis for predicting the impact of landscape-scale forest clearance and fragmentation.

Stephen J. Rossiter, Akbar Zubaid, Adura Mohd-Adnan, Matthew J. Struebig, Thomas H. Kunz, Sucharita Gopal, Eric J. Petit and Tigga Kingston (2011). Social organization and genetic structure: insights from co-distrubted bat populations. Molecular Ecology DOI: doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05391.x

Email tigga(dot)kingston(at)ttu(dot)edu  or s(dot)j(dot)rossiter(at)qmul(dot)ac(dot)uk for a pdf copy