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Changes in land use and habitat availability affect the population genetic structure of Metrioptera roeselii (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kirsten Wolff



The impact of temporal changes in habitat availability and land use on the present genetic diversity of the grassland katydid species Metrioptera roeselii was investigated in an extensively used agricultural landscape (Lahn-Dill-Bergland, Germany) based on six microsatellite loci. By integrating spatial and temporal dimensions, this study contrasts to conventional approaches that usually record landscape changes at discrete points in time. Molecular data suggest little geographical substructuring of the species. Nevertheless, time-dependent effects on genetic diversity in terms of observed heterozygosity and allelic richness within subpopulations were detected by general linear models (GLM), explaining up to 82 and 13%, respectively. The results indicated that allelic richness was significantly reduced with higher rates of land-use change. Contrastingly, the level of heterozygosity even increased with increasing land-use change, if this rate increase was accompanied by a reduction in grassland amount, while with an increase of grassland amount the level of heterozygosity remained similar. Furthermore, depending on the study site, heterozygosity was differently affected by grassland age of sampled patches and of the surrounding. This is presumably induced by contrasting levels of heterozygosity in combination with differing modes of dispersal due to habitat availability and site-specific matrix effects. The loss of genetic diversity due to frequent land-use change might result in a reduced ability to adapt to landscape change, which is even more relevant in intensively used agricultural landscapes and in the course of climate change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Holzhauer SIJ, Wolff K, Wolters V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Insect Conservation

Year: 2009

Volume: 13

Issue: 5

Pages: 543-552

Date deposited: 16/06/2010

ISSN (print): 1366-638X

ISSN (electronic): 1572-9753

Publisher: Springer Netherlands


DOI: 10.1007/s10841-008-9201-2


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