Genetic analyses can identify the scale at which wildlife species are impacted by human activities, and provide demographic information useful for management. Here, we use thousands of nuclear DNA genetic loci to assess whether genetic structure occurs within Lasiurus cinereus (Hoary Bat), L. borealis (Red Bat), and Lasionycteris noctivagans (Silver-Haired Bat) bats found at a wind turbine site in Ohio, and to also estimate demographic parameters in each of these three groups. Our specific goals are to: 1) demonstrate the feasibility of isolating RADseq loci from these tree bat species, 2) test for genetic structure within each species, including any structure that may be associated with time (migration period), and 3) use coalescent-based modeling approaches to estimate genetically-effective population sizes and patterns of population size changes over evolutionary timescales. Thousands of loci were successfully genotyped for each species, demonstrating the value of RADseq for generating polymorphic loci for population genetic analyses in these bats. There was no evidence for genetic differentiation between groups of samples collected at different times throughout spring and fall migration, suggesting that individuals from each species found at the wind facility are from single panmictic populations. Estimates of present-day effective population sizes varied across species, but were consistently large, on the order of 105–106. All populations show evidence of expansions that date to the Pleistocene. These results, along with recent work also suggesting limited genetic structure in bats across North America, argue that additional biomarker systems such as stable-isotopes or trace elements should be investigated as alternative and/or complementary approaches to genetics for sourcing individuals collected at single wind farm sites.
Genetic Diversity in Migratory Bats: Results from RADseq Data for Three Tree Bat Species at an Ohio Windfarm
Title: Genetic Diversity in Migratory Bats: Results from RADseq Data for Three Tree Bat Species at an Ohio Windfarm
January 26, 2016
Publisher: National Center for Biotechnology Information
Sovic, M.; Carstens, B.; Gibbs, H. (2016). Genetic Diversity in Migratory Bats: Results from RADseq Data for Three Tree Bat Species at an Ohio Windfarm. PeerJ, 4, e1647.