The genetic legacy of multiple beaver reintroductions in Central Europe

  • The comeback of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) throughout western and central Europe is considered a major conservation success. Traditionally, several subspecies are recognised by morphology and mitochondrial haplotype, each linked to a relict population. During various reintroduction programs in the 20th century, beavers from multiple source localities were released and now form viable populations. These programs differed in their reintroduction strategies, i.e., using pure subspecies vs. mixed source populations. This inhomogeneity in management actions generated ongoing debates regarding the origin of present beaver populations and appropriate management plans for the future. By sequencing of the mitochondrial control region and microsatellite genotyping of 235 beaver individuals from five selected regions in Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium we show that beavers from at least four source origins currently form admixed, genetically diverse populations that spread across the study region. While regional occurrences of invasive North American beavers (n = 20) were found, all but one C. fiber bore the mitochondrial haplotype of the autochthonous western Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU). Considering this, as well as the viability of admixed populations and the fact that the fusion of different lineages is already progressing in all studied regions, we argue that admixture between different beaver source populations should be generally accepted.

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Author:Christiane Frosch, Robert H. S. Kraus, Christof Angst, Rainer Allgöwer, Johan Michaux, Jana Teubner, Carsten Nowak
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-338011
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0097619
ISSN:1932-6203
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24827835
Parent Title (English):PLoS One
Publisher:PLoS
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2014/05/14
Date of first Publication:2014/05/14
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/05/23
Volume:9
Issue:(5):e97619
Page Number:14
Note:
Copyright: © 2014 Frosch et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
HeBIS-PPN:365160075
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Biowissenschaften
Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft
Fachübergreifende Einrichtungen / Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (BiK-F)
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0