Evol Ecol Res 17: 35-51 (2016)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Fine-scale spatial genetic structure
suggests modest risk of inbreeding
in natural populations of Argiope bruennichi

Stefanie M. Zimmer and Jutta M. Schneider

Zoological Institute, Biocenter Grindel, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Correspondence: S.M. Zimmer, Zoological Institute, Biocenter Grindel, University of Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany.
e-mail: zimmer.steffi@googlemail.com


Background: One may expect inbreeding avoidance via mate choice to evolve if two circumstances arise: the risk of inbreeding is high but avoidable, and there is sufficiently severe inbreeding depression.

Organism: The European wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi) in which males are monogynous or conditionally bigynous and polyandrous females cannibalize up to 80% of their mates following copulation.

Goal: Assess the potential for inbreeding and inbreeding avoidance by determining the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of natural spider populations. Investigate pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms.

Methods: Search for patterns of fine-scale spatial genetic structure across three populations using 16 polymorphic microsatellite loci before and after mate search. Sample twice. In the first, estimate genetic distances of sub-adult males and juvenile females using spatial autocorrelation analysis. In the second, determine genetic distances of guarding males and guarded females. In addition, monitor mate acceptance and rejection in the field, genetically screen the mating partners, and assess the genetic distance between the male and female.

Results: We found no fine-scale genetic substructure and no evidence for clusters of related juveniles. The probability of encountering genetically similar mates following male mate search was around 10% on average and differed between populations. Furthermore, the data revealed no correlation between genetic similarity and male rejection against virgin females.

Keywords: dispersal, genetic population structure, inbreeding depression, mating strategy, microsatellite, polyandry.

IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.


        © 2016 Stefanie M. Zimmer. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

       Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.

       All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.