Assessing spatial and temporal changes in the genetic structure of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, in response to anthropogenic land alteration
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The objective of our research is to understand how anthropogenic structures impact red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) at the population level. In particular, our research focuses on answering two questions: (1) do highways act as a barrier to gene flow and (2) do bridges facilitate gene flow between populations that were previously separated by a major river? To address the first question, 33 red foxes collected at 16 different sampling locations in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania were genotyped at five microsatellite loci and the genetic distance among the fox subpopulations sampled north and south of Route-30 was estimated. This analysis suggested that Route-30 does not prevent gene flow among these subpopulations. To address the latter question, we have developed a method for genotyping historical foxes specimens that were collected on opposite sides of major rivers before and after the construction of a bridge at the cytochrome b mitochondrial locus. Overall, we found that cytochrome b haplotypes are diverse within and among spatiotemporal populations.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2014
- F&M Theses Collection