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The Genomics of Isolated Populations of Gampsocleis glabra (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) in Central and Western Europe


Hawlitschek, Oliver; Bruns, Carsten; Dey, Lara-Sophie; Nuhlíčková, Soňa; Felix, Rob; van Kleef, Hein; Nakel, Jacqueline; Husemann, Martin (2023). The Genomics of Isolated Populations of Gampsocleis glabra (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) in Central and Western Europe. Insects, 14(12):946.

Abstract

Habitat destruction and fragmentation are among the major current threats to global biodiversity. Fragmentation may also affect species with good dispersal abilities. We study the heath bushcricket Gampsocleis glabra, a specialist of steppe-like habitats across Europe that are highly fragmented, investigating if these isolated populations can be distinguished using population genomics and if there are any traces of admixture or dispersal among them. We try to answer these questions using genome-wide SNP data generated with ddRAD sequencing. We calculated F-statistics and visualized differentiation using STRUCTURE plots. While limited by the difficulty of sampling this threatened species, our results show that all populations except one that was represented by a singleton were clearly distinct, with pairwise FST values between 0.010 and 0.181. STRUCTURE indicated limited but visible admixture across most populations and probably also an exchange of individuals between populations of Germany and The Netherlands. We conclude that in G. glabra, a certain amount of gene flow has persisted, at least in the past, also among populations that are isolated today. We also detect a possibly more recent dispersal event between a population in The Netherlands and one in Germany, which may be human aided. We suggest that the conservation of larger populations should be maintained, that efforts should be taken to restore abandoned habitat, that the preservation even of small habitat fragments may be beneficial for the conservation of this species, and that these habitats should be regularly monitored for possible (re-)colonization.

Abstract

Habitat destruction and fragmentation are among the major current threats to global biodiversity. Fragmentation may also affect species with good dispersal abilities. We study the heath bushcricket Gampsocleis glabra, a specialist of steppe-like habitats across Europe that are highly fragmented, investigating if these isolated populations can be distinguished using population genomics and if there are any traces of admixture or dispersal among them. We try to answer these questions using genome-wide SNP data generated with ddRAD sequencing. We calculated F-statistics and visualized differentiation using STRUCTURE plots. While limited by the difficulty of sampling this threatened species, our results show that all populations except one that was represented by a singleton were clearly distinct, with pairwise FST values between 0.010 and 0.181. STRUCTURE indicated limited but visible admixture across most populations and probably also an exchange of individuals between populations of Germany and The Netherlands. We conclude that in G. glabra, a certain amount of gene flow has persisted, at least in the past, also among populations that are isolated today. We also detect a possibly more recent dispersal event between a population in The Netherlands and one in Germany, which may be human aided. We suggest that the conservation of larger populations should be maintained, that efforts should be taken to restore abandoned habitat, that the preservation even of small habitat fragments may be beneficial for the conservation of this species, and that these habitats should be regularly monitored for possible (re-)colonization.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Insect Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Insect Science
Language:English
Date:14 December 2023
Deposited On:18 Feb 2024 10:42
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 03:31
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:2075-4450
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120946
PubMed ID:38132619
Project Information:
  • : FunderIdeen- und Risikofonds of the University of Hamburg
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderPhD stipend from the Heinrich-Böll Stiftung
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)