- Department of Zoology and Wildlife Science, Auburn University, 39849, Auburn, Al, USA
- Alabama Agricultural Experimental Station, Auburn University, 39849, Auburn, AL, USA
From analyses of published data and a review of the literature, I studied indirect and direct measures of gene flow among populations of Columbian ground squirrels, Spermophilus columbianus. New analyses were used to examine an allozyme data set (seven polymorphic loci) that had been collected by Zammuto and Millar (1985a) from six populations of ground squirrels that were spread over 183 km. G-tests indicated significant variation in allele frequencies among populations, but F-statistics revealed relatively little population differentiation (average F ST=0.026). F ST values were used to estimate rates of gene flow indirectly and indicated fairly high rates of gene flow (average N e m=13.5). Recorded dispersal distances of individual ground squirrels were fairly short (most<4 km, maximum recorded distance was 8.5 km), and the minimum distance between populations used to create the allozyme data set was about 25 km. Thus, direct dispersal among the populations in the allozyme data set was highly unlikely. Small genetically effective populations may have experienced high rates of migration over short distances (about 43% of adults in local populations were immigrants), however, resulting in homogeneous allele frequencies over the geographic range. This explanation provides an alternative to invoking gene flow in the recent past to explain discrepancies between dispersal distances in the field and homogenization of allele frequencies over large ranges, Mammalian species that have virtually complete dispersal of subadult males from the natal area might be expected to exhibit relatively high rates of gene flow, regardless of actual dispersal distances. Genetically effective populations may be much smaller than more extensive ecological populations and experience higher rates of gene flow.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - psychologie. psychophysiologie
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics