Podgórski, Tomasz and Scandura, Massimo and Jędrzejewska, Bogumiła (2014) Next of kin next door - philopatry and socio-genetic population structure in wild boar. Italian Journal of Zoology, Vol. 294 (3), p. 190-197. eISSN 1748-5851. Article.
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Dispersal patterns can have vital consequences for the transfer of genes in a population, thus shaping its genetic make-up and structure. Genetic relationships between individuals can, in turn, affect their social behaviour and the emergent social organization of the population. Using combination of behavioural and genetic data from the wild boar Sus scrofa population in Białowieża Primeval Forest (eastern Poland), we evaluated the socio-genetic structure of wild boar groups, the spatial genetic structure of the population and dispersal patterns. We found that wild boar post-weaning movements were largely spatially limited to the vicinity of maternal range, with female boars showing a tendency to settle in the direct neighbourhood of the kin and male boars dispersing further away from the natal area. Consequently, such dispersal patterns were reflected in the kin-based social organization and the spatial genetic structure of the population, which was manifested at a spatial scale corresponding to the size of a few home ranges (<5 km). A negative relationship between geographic distance and genetic relatedness, which was particularly strong in female boars, indicated a presence of local kin clusters dominated by female boars and the importance of female philopatry in shaping the structure of wild boar population. This was confirmed by the genetic profile and composition of social groups. This study showed the role dispersal decisions can play in the emergence of the kin-based and matrilineal social system of wild boars.
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