Temporal genetic variation of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, across western Europe and the British Isles

Ceiridwen J. Edwards, Carl D. Soulsbury, Mark J. Statham, Simon Y W Ho, Dave Wall, Gaudenz Dolf, Graziella Iossa, Phillip J. Baker, Stephen Harris, Benjamin Sacks, Daniel G. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Quaternary climatic fluctuations have had profound effects on the phylogeographic structure of many species. Classically, species were thought to have become isolated in peninsular refugia, but there is limited evidence that large, non-polar species survived outside traditional refugial areas. We examined the phylogeographic structure of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), a species that shows high ecological adaptability in the western Palaearctic region. We compared mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b and control region) from 399 modern and 31 ancient individuals from across Europe. Our objective was to test whether red foxes colonised the British Isles from mainland Europe in the late Pleistocene, or whether there is evidence that they persisted in the region through the Last Glacial Maximum.We found red foxes to show a high degree of phylogeographic structuring across Europe and, consistent with palaeontological and ancient DNA evidence, confirmed via phylogenetic indicators that red foxes were persistent in areas outside peninsular refugia during the last ice age. Bayesian analyses and tests of neutrality indicated population expansion. We conclude that there is evidence that red foxes from the British Isles derived from central European populations that became isolated after the closure of the landbridge with Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume57
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 4 2012

Fingerprint

British Isles
Vulpes vulpes
Western European region
Western Europe
genetic variation
refugium
evidence
Pleistocene
Palearctic Region
refuge habitats
neutrality
Last Glacial Maximum
mitochondrial DNA
fluctuation
cytochrome
phylogenetics
DNA
cytochrome b
Europe
ice

Keywords

  • British Isles
  • Control region
  • Cytochrome b gene
  • Europe
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Phylogeography
  • Red fox

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

Cite this

Edwards, C. J., Soulsbury, C. D., Statham, M. J., Ho, S. Y. W., Wall, D., Dolf, G., ... Bradley, D. G. (2012). Temporal genetic variation of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, across western Europe and the British Isles. Quaternary Science Reviews, 57, 95-104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.10.010

Temporal genetic variation of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, across western Europe and the British Isles. / Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Soulsbury, Carl D.; Statham, Mark J.; Ho, Simon Y W; Wall, Dave; Dolf, Gaudenz; Iossa, Graziella; Baker, Phillip J.; Harris, Stephen; Sacks, Benjamin; Bradley, Daniel G.

In: Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 57, 04.12.2012, p. 95-104.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Edwards, CJ, Soulsbury, CD, Statham, MJ, Ho, SYW, Wall, D, Dolf, G, Iossa, G, Baker, PJ, Harris, S, Sacks, B & Bradley, DG 2012, 'Temporal genetic variation of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, across western Europe and the British Isles', Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 57, pp. 95-104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.10.010
Edwards, Ceiridwen J. ; Soulsbury, Carl D. ; Statham, Mark J. ; Ho, Simon Y W ; Wall, Dave ; Dolf, Gaudenz ; Iossa, Graziella ; Baker, Phillip J. ; Harris, Stephen ; Sacks, Benjamin ; Bradley, Daniel G. / Temporal genetic variation of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, across western Europe and the British Isles. In: Quaternary Science Reviews. 2012 ; Vol. 57. pp. 95-104.
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