Mitochondrial DNA variation in Eritrean hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas hamadryas): life history influences population genetic structure
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- Hapke, A., Zinner, D. & Zischler, H. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2001) 50: 483. doi:10.1007/s002650100393
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The hamadryas baboon, Papio hamadryas hamadryas, represents a rare exception from the pattern of female philopatry and male-biased dispersal predominant in mammals including primates. To elucidate the possible consequences of the dispersal pattern on the population genetic structure of hamadryas baboons, we sequenced the maternally transmitted mitochondrial hypervariable region I of 74 individuals from ten sampling locations in different ecogeographic zones of Eritrea. To this end, individual fecal samples were collected at sleeping cliffs. Upon comparing the individual sequences by means of phylogenetic tree reconstructions and AMOVA, we could not detect a population genetic structure corresponding to a geographic pattern. Tree reconstructions revealed the existence of two profoundly different lineages both present at most of the sampling locations. These findings and Mantel correlations of genetic distances and the frequency of shared haplotypes to geographic distances point to the presence of female dispersal. Female-mediated gene flow is detectable over geographic distances exceeding those between neighboring subpopulations. Our study therefore corroborates local behavioral observations on a broad geographic scale. After inclusion of geographically closely situated olive baboons, P. h. anubis, in the analyses, all anubis sequences fell within one hamadryas clade. Possible scenarios leading to this situation including long-term hybridization processes are discussed.