Adaptive divergence along environmental gradients in a climate-change-sensitive mammal
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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Ecology and Evolution
Volume 3, Issue 11, pages 3906–3917, October 2013
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How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2013; 3(11): 3906–3917
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 16 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 16 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 8 AUG 2013
- NSERC Discovery. Grant Number: 341711-07
- Swiss National Science Foundation. Grant Number: PBSKP3_128523
- University of Northern British Columbia
- climate change;
- conservation genetics;
- Ochotona princeps ;
- population genetics – empirical
In the face of predicted climate change, a broader understanding of biotic responses to varying environments has become increasingly important within the context of biodiversity conservation. Local adaptation is one potential option, yet remarkably few studies have harnessed genomic tools to evaluate the efficacy of this response within natural populations. Here, we show evidence of selection driving divergence of a climate-change-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps), distributed along elevation gradients at its northern range margin in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia (BC), Canada. We employed amplified-fragment-length-polymorphism-based genomic scans to conduct genomewide searches for candidate loci among populations inhabiting varying environments from sea level to 1500 m. Using several independent approaches to outlier locus detection, we identified 68 candidate loci putatively under selection (out of a total 1509 screened), 15 of which displayed significant associations with environmental variables including annual precipitation and maximum summer temperature. These candidate loci may represent important targets for predicting pika responses to climate change and informing novel approaches to wildlife conservation in a changing world.