Data from: An endangered arboreal specialist, the western ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis), shows a greater genetic divergence across a narrow artificial waterway than a major road



The fragmentation of habitats by roads and other artificial linear structures can have a profound effect on the movement of arboreal species due to their strong fidelity to canopies. Here, we used 12 microsatellite DNA loci to investigate the fine-scale spatial genetic structure and the effects of a major road and a narrow artificial waterway on a population of the endangered western ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) in Busselton, Western Australia. Using spatial autocorrelation analysis, we found positive genetic structure in continuous habitat over distances up to 600 m. These patterns are consistent with the sedentary nature of P. occidentalis and highlight their vulnerability to the effects of habitat fragmentation. Pairwise relatedness values and Bayesian cluster analysis also revealed significant genetic divergences across an artificial waterway, suggesting that it was a barrier to gene flow. By contrast, no genetic divergences were detected across the major road. While studies often focus on roads when assessing the effects of artificial linear structures on wildlife, this study provides an example of an often overlooked artificial linear structure other than a road that has a significant impact on wildlife dispersal leading to genetic subdivision.,Microsatellite data of Pseudocheirus occidentalis in Busselton, Western AustraliaThis file contains microsatellite scores of 145 adult western ringtail possums in Busselton, Western Australia. Genetic samples were collected from 2010 to 2013. Allele scores for 12 microsatellite markers are given in a basic table format and also in FSTAT input file format. Please refer to the published article for more information on the study blocks and microsatellite markers used.Yokochi et al genetic data.xlsx,
Date made available28 Dec 2016

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