Assessment of population structure in hungarian otter populations

István Lehoczky, Desiré L. Dalton, J. Lanszki, Zoltán Sallai, M. Thabang Madisha, Lisa J. Nupen, Antoinette Kotzé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is widely distributed in Europe and has been down-listed from Vulnerable to Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List in 2004 following successful conservation interventions. River otter recoveries were driven by active and passive protection of wetlands and a decrease in environmental pollutants. In Hungary, although otter populations have been stable in recent decades, there is little information available regarding genetic diversity, population genetic or phylogeographic structure, and potential barriers affecting gene flow. This study, therefore, aimed to determine genetic diversity and structure across the range of this species in Hungary. To achieve this, we analyzed 255 tissue samples collected since 2002, mainly from road-kill incidents, in various regions of Hungary. We found a relatively high level of genetic diversity in Hungarian otter populations (expected heterozygosity: 0.69-0.74; mean number of alleles per locus: 6.8-7.7). At a regional level, we identified 2 distinct genetic clusters corresponding to 2 river basins (Danube and Tisza). We also identified isolation by distance and patterns of genetic differentiation that appear to reflect population divergence of otters that are spatially restricted to one of these 2 river basins. Our results show the strong influence of river networks on population structure and genetic divergence in otters and provide a framework for the development of conservation management plans for otters in Hungary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1275-1283
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Volume96
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015

Fingerprint

Otters
population structure
Hungary
genetic variation
population genetics
river basin
divergence
Population
Rivers
Red List
conservation management
river
genetic differentiation
heterozygosity
genetic structure
gene flow
Lontra canadensis
allele
Lutra lutra
wetland

Keywords

  • Eurasian otter
  • genetic diversity
  • Hungary
  • Lutra lutra
  • microsatellites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Lehoczky, I., Dalton, D. L., Lanszki, J., Sallai, Z., Madisha, M. T., Nupen, L. J., & Kotzé, A. (2015). Assessment of population structure in hungarian otter populations. Journal of Mammalogy, 96(6), 1275-1283. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyv136

Assessment of population structure in hungarian otter populations. / Lehoczky, István; Dalton, Desiré L.; Lanszki, J.; Sallai, Zoltán; Madisha, M. Thabang; Nupen, Lisa J.; Kotzé, Antoinette.

In: Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 96, No. 6, 01.12.2015, p. 1275-1283.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lehoczky, I, Dalton, DL, Lanszki, J, Sallai, Z, Madisha, MT, Nupen, LJ & Kotzé, A 2015, 'Assessment of population structure in hungarian otter populations', Journal of Mammalogy, vol. 96, no. 6, pp. 1275-1283. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyv136
Lehoczky I, Dalton DL, Lanszki J, Sallai Z, Madisha MT, Nupen LJ et al. Assessment of population structure in hungarian otter populations. Journal of Mammalogy. 2015 Dec 1;96(6):1275-1283. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyv136
Lehoczky, István ; Dalton, Desiré L. ; Lanszki, J. ; Sallai, Zoltán ; Madisha, M. Thabang ; Nupen, Lisa J. ; Kotzé, Antoinette. / Assessment of population structure in hungarian otter populations. In: Journal of Mammalogy. 2015 ; Vol. 96, No. 6. pp. 1275-1283.
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