Only males care about their environment: sex-biased dispersal in the asp viper (Vipera aspis)

Zwahlen, Valerie and Nanni-Geser, Silvia and Kaiser, Laura and Golay, Joaquim and Dubey, Sylvain and Ursenbacher, Sylvain. (2021) Only males care about their environment: sex-biased dispersal in the asp viper (Vipera aspis). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 132 (1). pp. 104-115.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/80332/

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Sex-biased dispersal is common among vertebrates and numerous studies have documented a tendency towards male-biased dispersal in mammals and female-biased dispersal in birds. A few studies have demonstrated that male-biased dispersal seems to be prevalent in reptiles. However, most of these studies considered only a single study site without taking into account possible local variability. We investigated sex-biased dispersal in Vipera aspis in four study sites in Switzerland using microsatellite markers and we predicted a higher dispersal in males than females. In two study sites, females were more spatially autocorrelated and showed a stronger isolation by distance compared with males, which suggests male-biased dispersal. In the other two study sites, the absence of sex-biased dispersal could have been the result of habitat fragmentation. Surprisingly, the dispersal ability of females was similar in the four sites, regardless of habitat fragmentation. This finding suggests a limited impact of habitat on female dispersal and the opposite for male dispersal. Our study demonstrates the importance of inferring sex-biased dispersal in different habitats, because local barriers can affect the outcome of such studies. Hence, general conclusions about patterns of sex-biased dispersal should be drawn with caution when studies are conducted at a single study site.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Ursenbacher, Sylvain and Geser, Silvia and Kaiser, Laura and Zwahlen, Valerie
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Linnean Society of London
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Apr 2021 10:12
Deposited On:14 Apr 2021 10:12

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