The Interplay of Landscape Features and Social System on the Genetic Structure of a Primate Population: An Agent-Based Simulation Study Using "Tamarins"

Anthony Di Fiore, Lina Maria Valencia

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

6 Citas (Scopus)


Tamarins are small-bodied, forest-dwelling, callitrichines that live in groups containing one to a few adult individuals of each sex. Within these groups, reproduction is usually heavily skewed toward a single dominant male and dominant female, females commonly give birth to cooperatively reared twin offspring, and individuals of both sexes disperse, most often to adjacent groups. Throughout their geographic range, tamarin species are being subject to habitat loss and fragmentation, which may influence their ability to survive and disperse successfully. Here, we use a spatially explicit agent-based population genetics simulation toolkit (GENESYS) to explore the potential effects of social structure and landscape features on the population genetic structure of tamarin primates. We first model the population genetic consequences of tamarin social organization in a homogeneous landscape unconstrained by any barriers to gene flow. We then repeat our analyses using the same social system parameters but in different landscapes that either introduce a barrier to gene flow that restricts dispersal from one half of the model world to the other or divide the world into regions with differing "permeabilities" to dispersal. Our results demonstrate that, in our simulated populations, the social system of tamarins results in the clear and rapid genetic differentiation of social groups within a very short time frame. Over time, the limited dispersal of both males and females leads to a pattern of isolation by distance, as expected from a stepping-stone model of gene flow among groups. Introducing a barrier results in a somewhat more complex pattern: isolation by distance still obtains among social groups within regions on each side of the barrier, but the barrier has a much more significant effect on the structuring of genetic variation, leading to strong genetic differentiation among groups on opposite sides that becomes more pronounced over time. Introducing a region of limited dispersal permeability also results in strong differentiation of groups across that region, even though gene flow throughout the landscape is still possible. Our study demonstrates the utility of the GENESYS toolkit for modeling, in silico, the genetic consequences of many features of the social systems of primates and other group-living animals and for simultaneously exploring the effects of landscape features on spatial genetic structure.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)226-257
Número de páginas32
PublicaciónInternational Journal of Primatology
EstadoPublicada - feb. 2014
Publicado de forma externa


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