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Urban habitat fragmentation and genetic population structure of bobcats in coastal southern California

American Midland Naturalist

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Abstract

Although habitat fragmentation is recognized as a primary threat to biodiversity, the effects of urban development on genetic population structure vary among species and landscapes and are not yet well understood. Here we use non-invasive genetic sampling to compare the effects of fragmentation by major roads and urban development on levels of dispersal, genetic diversity, and relatedness between paired bobcat populations in replicate landscapes in coastal southern California. We hypothesized that bobcat populations in sites surrounded by urbanization would experience reduced functional connectivity relative to less isolated nearby populations. Our results show that bobcat genetic population structure is affected by roads and development but not always as predicted by the degree that these landscape features surround fragments. Instead, we suggest that urban development may affect functional connectivity between bobcat populations more by limiting the number and genetic diversity of source populations of migrants than by creating impermeable barriers to dispersal.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Urban habitat fragmentation and genetic population structure of bobcats in coastal southern California
Series title:
American Midland Naturalist
Volume
168
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
University of Notre Dame
Publisher location:
Notre Dame, IN
Contributing office(s):
Western Ecological Research Center
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
American Midland Naturalist
First page:
265
Last page:
280
Country:
United States
County:
Orange
Other Geospatial:
Santa Monica Mountains;Simi Hills;Topanga