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Genetic detection of sex-biased dispersal

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Abstract

We investigated the application of a recently developed genetic test for sex bias in dispersal. This test determines an animal's ‘assignment index’ or the expected frequency of its genotype in the population in which it is captured. Low assignment indices indicate a low probability of being born locally. We investigated the use of this test with the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, in which dispersal is predominantly male-biased, but not extreme. We found that male P. leucopus had significantly lower assignment indices than females. These data suggest that the genetic test for sex bias in dispersal has potential to be used with species that do not have extreme sex-biased dispersal tendencies.

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