Impacts of agricultural land use on genetic diversity in generalist and specialist blue-winged butterfly species

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


Human-induced land use changes can differentially affect species depending on factors such as habitat preference, dispersal affinity, and specialization. While census size and distribution are important measures of a species response to land use change, these measures do not capture the impacts on genetic diversity and their long-term implications. Here, we examine the genomic effects of agricultural intensification on a pair of blue-winged butterfly species that vary in habitat specialization and mobility. Populations come from sites featuring either a predominance of cropland, production forest, or suitable grassland habitat in the surrounding landscape. When possible, we have sequenced museum specimens collected in the early 20th century from nearby localities to establish historical measures of diversity. We measure nucleotide diversity, heterozygosity, and runs of homozygosity, as well as reconstruct past effective population size changes in these populations to examine how diversity is being impacted by land use changes. We examine population structure to determine if habitat fragmentation is a barrier to gene flow and if it has resulted in increased inbreeding within populations. Combining these results, we aim to determine the differing evolutionary effects land use may have on species with varying life histories and their implications for conservation practice.
Period2022 Aug 24
Event title6th European Congress of Conservation Biology: Biodiversity crisis in a changing world
Event typeConference
LocationPrag, Czech RepublicShow on map