Date of Degree

6-2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Anthropology

Advisor

Ryan Raaum

Committee Members

Andrea Baden

Mary Blair

Ana Carnaval

Subject Categories

Biological and Physical Anthropology | Genetics

Keywords

Madagascar, Microcebus murinus, Microcebus berthae, landscape genetics, deforestation

Abstract

The impact of deforestation on the genetic structure of mouse lemurs is poorly understood. In this project, I assess deforestation of Madagascar’s terrestrial protected regions, quantify genomic wide genetic variation in two sympatric mouse lemurs, and evaluate the role of landscape structure in genetic relatedness patterns within two sympatric mouse lemur species. Overall deforestation rates across the 98 terrestrial protected areas in Madagascar are increasing, resulting in an average annual deforestation rate of 0.68% per year, with approximately 10,600 km2 lost between 2000 and 2019. In a comparison of relatedness patterns between the sympatric gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) and Mme. Berthe’s mouse lemur (M. berthae), M. murinus displays a greater background relatedness, but both species exhibit female philopatry. Even though Critically Endangered, the inbreeding and relatedness estimates of M. berthae are comparable to the least concern, M. murinus. The landscape variables, distance to nearest town and land cover, as measured by a vegetation index, were not found to influence genetic connectivity in either species. Overall, deforestation rates are accelerating in Madagascar’s protected areas, but may have only a small effect on genetic connectivity of mouse lemurs.

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