The impact of landscape management on genetic structure: a review and case studies from small mammals and ungulates

Prof. Elena Buzan

Dpt of Biodiversity, University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia

Date: Wednesday, 12.12.2018, 13:00, Cent Lecture Theatre 0142                                         How to get there: Lecture theatre 0142 is c. ~15 meters to the right after entering CeNT

Abstract. In my talk, two selected topics will be addressed. In first part I will represent our research connected with the change in rodents communities as consequence of urbanisation and inappropriate waste management. Illegal waste disposal impacts public health and causes aesthetic and environmental pollution and drives the native rodents to local extinction replacing them with invasive commensal species. Waste disposed in places without permitted and controlled facilities can provide a ready source of nutrition and shelter for rodents and thus promote the spread of their ecto- and endoparasites. In our research we have shown that the spread of pathogens already endemic in the environment, where the waste site is located, can be significantly increased. Namely, the seroprevalence of Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus ( LCMV) infection of rodents trapped at illegal waste sites was higher compared to the LCMV infection of rodents from their natural environment.

In second part of may talk I will focus on using genetic diversity data for our understanding of the effects of habitat fragmentation on long-term persistence and viability of keystone species. Presentation will include results of long term study, which have been done on important game subspecies, Northern chamois, in Central Europe and Balkan. I will try to address the issues of the effects of past management on genetic structure and possible hybridization where the subspecies (Rupicapra r. rupicapra and R.r. balcanica) overlap (i.e., contact zone). Processes occurring at different spatial and temporal scales, fragmentation and losing of the populations connectivity have presumably different impacts on wildlife gene flow and consequently also on the main life-history traits.