Oecologia

, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 289–300

Does genetic introgression improve female reproductive performance? A test on the endangered Florida panther

  • Jeffrey A. Hostetler
  • David P. Onorato
  • Benjamin M. Bolker
  • Warren E. Johnson
  • Stephen J. O’Brien
  • Deborah Jansen
  • Madan K. Oli
Conservation ecology - Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00442-011-2083-0

Cite this article as:
Hostetler, J.A., Onorato, D.P., Bolker, B.M. et al. Oecologia (2012) 168: 289. doi:10.1007/s00442-011-2083-0

Abstract

Genetic introgression has been suggested as a management tool for mitigating detrimental effects of inbreeding depression, but the role of introgression in species conservation has been controversial, partly because population-level impacts of genetic introgressions are not well understood. Concerns about potential inbreeding depression in the endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) led to the release of eight female Texas pumas (P. c. stanleyana) into the Florida panther population in 1995. We used long-term reproductive data (1995–2008) collected from 61 female Florida panthers to estimate and model reproduction probability (probability of producing a litter) and litter size, and to investigate the influence of intentional genetic introgression on these parameters. Overall, 6-month probability of reproduction (±1SE) was 0.232 ± 0.021 and average litter size was 2.60 ± 0.09. Although F1 admixed females had a lower reproduction probability than females with other ancestries, this was most likely because kittens born to F1 females survive better; consequently, these females are unavailable for breeding until kittens are independent. There was no evidence for the effect of ancestry on litter size or of heterozygosity on probability of reproduction or litter size. In contrast, earlier studies have shown that genetic introgression positively affected Florida panther survival. Our results, along with those of earlier studies, clearly suggest that genetic introgression can have differential effects on components of fitness and highlight the importance of examining multiple demographic parameters when evaluating the effects of management actions.

Keywords

Abundance Cumulative logit regression Demography Model-averaging Season 

Supplementary material

442_2011_2083_MOESM1_ESM.doc (71 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 71 kb)
442_2011_2083_MOESM2_ESM.doc (71 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 71 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOC 119 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (DOC 101 kb)
442_2011_2083_MOESM5_ESM.doc (196 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (DOC 195 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey A. Hostetler
    • 1
    • 6
  • David P. Onorato
    • 2
  • Benjamin M. Bolker
    • 3
  • Warren E. Johnson
    • 4
  • Stephen J. O’Brien
    • 4
  • Deborah Jansen
    • 5
  • Madan K. Oli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Wildlife Ecology and ConservationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Fish and Wildlife Research InstituteFlorida Fish and Wildlife Conservation CommissionNaplesUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Mathematics and Statistics and BiologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Laboratory of Genomic DiversityNational Cancer InstituteFrederickUSA
  5. 5.Big Cypress National PreserveOchopeeUSA
  6. 6.Migratory Bird CenterSmithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological ParkWashingtonUSA

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