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Englund, Linda, 2008. The impact of founder events and introductions on genetic variation in the muskox Ovibos moschatus. SLU, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Umeå. Umeå: SLU, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies



The muskox is an ungulate that is well adapted to severe arctic conditions. Native
populations are today found in northern Canada, the Canadian archipelago and on the
northeastern coast of Greenland. Throughout its existence the muskox has been subject to
many fluctuations in population size, both due to changing climate and intensive hunting
during the hide trade in the 18- and 1900's. However, small refugia have persisted,
allowing the muskox to increase in numbers again. In addition, introductions and
translocations of the muskox around the Arctic have allowed the species to colonise new
territories such as west Greenland and Norway. In 1971 five muskoxen left Norway and
founded a population in Härjedalen, Sweden. Today (2008) the Swedish population
consists of seven individuals. When trying to reinforce the genetic variation within the
population one cow was mated with a captive Greenlandic bull, which resulted in a calf in
2006. To find out how muskox populations have been affected by sequential founder events
muskox samples from the Canadian archipelago, east and west Greenland, Norway and
Sweden were studied, using highly variable microsatellite markers. The result shows that
the allelic variation follows the expectations of the founder events where Canada has the
highest variation, followed by Greenland. However, the Swedish population has more
genetic variation than Norway. This is explained by the contribution of two new alleles by
the half-Greenlandic calf, indicating that one individual can make a large impact regarding
the genetic variation. Also, the zoo population contains a higher degree of genetic variation
than many of the introduced populations, revealing the importance of preserving the
breeding programmes in zoos.

Main title:The impact of founder events and introductions on genetic variation in the muskox Ovibos moschatus
Authors:Englund, Linda
Supervisor:Ericsson, Göran
Series:Examensarbete i ämnet biologi / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för vilt, fisk och miljö
Volume/Sequential designation:2008:12
Year of Publication:2008
Level and depth descriptor:Other
Student's programme affiliation:SY001 Forest Science - Master's Programme 300 HEC
Supervising department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Keywords:Canadian archipelago, genetic variation, Greenland, introductions, management, microsatellites, muskox, Norway, Ovibos moschatus, sequential founder events, Sweden
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:?? 5056 ??
Animal genetics and breeding
Deposited On:01 Nov 2017 12:34
Metadata Last Modified:01 Nov 2017 12:34

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