- Short-term impact of 1997/1998 ENSO-induced disturbance on abundance and genetic variation in a tropical butterfly
- Journal of Heredity
- Volume | Issue number
- 97 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
In order to assess the short-term impact of habitat loss after disturbance, we studied Arhopala epimuta (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) populations in 5 landscapes in Borneo that were differentially affected by the 1997/1998 El Nino Southern Oscillation-induced drought and fire. Sampling was conducted before (1997) and after (1998 and 2000) disturbance. This study combined demographic and genetic data inferred from the analysis of 5 microsatellite loci and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences. Over all 5 landscapes, a total of 313 A. epimuta were sampled over the 3-year survey. Butterfly abundance varied greatly both spatially and temporally (within disturbed landscapes). After the disturbance, a 4-fold population expansion was observed in a small unburned isolate, whereas population extinction was observed in one of the severely burned areas. The analysis of mtDNA sequences in a subsample of 106 A. epimuta revealed no significant spatial or temporal genetic structure. The analysis of 5 microsatellite loci revealed high frequencies of null alleles. Genetic evidence of recent change in population size was found in all 3 unburned landscapes using microsatellites. Congruent to mtDNA, microsatellites failed to detect significant genetic structure according to sampling year or landscapes. Our results suggest that, for mobile species within recently fragmented habitat, habitat loss after disturbance may lead to local population extinction but may augment genetic diversity in remnant local populations because of increased gene flow.
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