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Genetic variability and inbreeding effects in brown hares, Lepus europaeus

Abstract
Low population density and absence of gene flow may lead to increased inbreeding; i.e., breeding among related indivduals. Inbreeding might impose a negative effect on the biological performance of otherwise outbreeding species, such as the brown hare. In turn, lowered reproduction and survival could seriousely reduce population viability. In this project we test the hypothesis of reduced reproductive performance under low individual heterozygosity in wild-living does from eastern Austria. We also study possible effects of inbreeding on various parameters of reproduction, growth, basal metabolism, thermal regulation, and body condition by comparinging inbred and outbred hares, bred and raised over several generations under standardized conditions in our breeding station. In addition, pedigree-analyses will be used for heritability analysis of physiological parameters. Preliminary results of c. 550 does from the wild indicate no significant influence of multi-locus allozyme heterozygosity on the total number of leverets born per female and year. The analysis of the data from the inbred and outbred hares of our breeding station will begin in the next future.

Project leader
Duration
15.01.95-15.03.05
Type of Research
Applied research
Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology
Funded by
Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Forschungsinstitutes für Wildtierkunde und Ökologie der Veterinärmedizinischen Universität Wien, , Austria
16 Publications

Suchentrunk, F; Ben Slimen, H; Stamatis, C; Mamuris, Z (2007): Bayesian analysis of microsatellite variation in brown hares (Lepus europaeus) from Greece. 12-13.-81st Annual Meeting German Society of Mammalogy; 23.-26.09.2007; Lodz, Polen.

Ben Slimen, H; Suchentrunk, F; Stamatis, C; Mamuris, Z; Sert, H; Alves, PC; Kryger, U; Shahin, AAB, Ben Ammar Elgaaied, A (2007): A microsatellite-based test of Petter´s hypothesis of conspecificity of cape and brown hares (Lepus capensis and L. europaeus). 3-3.-81st Annual Meeting German Society of Mammalogy; 23.-26.09.2007; Lodz, Polen.

Schappelwein, S (2007): Development and establishment of a multi-locus marker system for detecting relatedness among wild living brown hares (Lepus europaeus Pallas, 1778). Diplomarbeit, Univ. Wien, pp. 90.

Sert, H (2006): Ecomorphologic and molecular variations within Anatolian (Mediterranean-Southeast regions) and among Anatolian, European, Middle East and South African hare (Lepus sp.) populations. PhD-Arbeit, Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Antalya, Turkey, pp. 140.

Suchentrunk, F (2006): The problems of a molecular "Who Is Who" of hares: phylogenetic aspects of the genus Lepus. Seminar Klinisches Department für Tierzucht und Reproduktion, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien, Austria, 26.6.2006. Seminar Klinisches Department für Tierzucht und Reproduktion, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien, 26.6.2006.

Suchentrunk, F (2005): On problems of molecular systematics of hares (genus Lepus) from Africa. Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Minia University, El Minia, Egypt, Egypt, 01.02.2005. Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Minia University, El Minia, Egypt, 01.02.2005.

Davidovic, M; Obreht, D; Suchentrunk, F;Vapa, L (2004): On mitochondrial gene pool variability of Serbian Brown hare (Lepus europaeus) populations. 2nd World Lagomorph Conference, Vairão, Portugal, Portugal, 26. - 31.07.2004. 2nd World Lagomorph Conference, Vairão, Portugal, 26. - 31.07.2004.

Ben Slimen, H; Suchentrunk, F; Sert, H; Kryger, U; Alves, P.C (2004): MtDNA PCR-RFLP analysis of hares from North and South Africa, Anatolia, and central Europe. 2nd World Lagomorph Conference, Vairão, Portugal, Portugal, 26. - 31.07.2004. 2nd World Lagomorph Conference, Vairão, Portugal, 26. - 31.07.2004.

Alves, P.C; Melo-Ferreira, J; Suchentrunk, F; Ferrand, N (2004): Mitochondrial introgression: a rare or a common phenomenon in the genus Lepus?. 2nd World Lagomorph Conference, Vairão, Portugal, Portugal, 26. - 31.07.2004. 2nd World Lagomorph Conference, Vairão, Portugal, 26. - 31.07.2004.

Alves, P.C; Harris, D.J; Suchentrunk, F (2004): Close phylogenetic relationships between the Broom hare, Lepus castroviejoi, and the Italian hare, Lepus corsicanus, as evidenced by mtDNA and allozyme data. 2nd World Lagomorph Conference, Vairão, Portugal, Portugal, 26. - 31.07. 2004 . 2nd World Lagomorph Conference, Vairão, Portugal, 26. - 31.07. 2004 .

Suchentrunk, F; Alves, P.C (2003): Partitioning of genetic diversity within and among brown hares, mountain hares, and Iberian hares. XXVI International IUGB Congress & Xth International Perdix Symposium, Braga, Portugal, Portugal, 01 .-06.09.2003. XXVI International IUGB Congress & Xth International Perdix Symposium, Braga, Portugal, 01 .-06.09.2003.

Ludescher, B (2002): Genetische Diversität, Fekundität und populationsdynamische Fortpflanzungsparameter beim Europäischen Feldhasen (Lepus europaeus) in Niederösterreich. Dissertation, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 84.

Mamuris, Z; Sfougaris, A.I; Stamatis, C; Suchentrunk, F; Varfi, V; Anni, A (2001): High genetic diversity of brown hare populations from Greece in comparison with those from central Europe as assessed by mtDNA-RFLP analysis. Hellenic Society for Biological Sciences, 23rd Panhellenic Conference, Chios Island, Mai 2001. Hellenic Society for Biological Sciences, 23rd Panhellenic Conference, Chios Island, Mai 2001.

Mamuris, Z; Sfougaris, A.I; Stamatis, C; Suchentrunk, F (2001): Genetic diversity of Brown hares from Greece, Bulgaria and Central Europe as assessed by mtDNA-RFLP analysis. XXVth IUGB Congress, Lemesos, Cyprus, Cyprus, Sept.2001. XXVth IUGB Congress, Lemesos, Cyprus, Sept.2001.

Sert, H; Ludescher, B; Suchentrunk, F (2001): Fluctuating asymmetry of long bones and heterozygosity in Brown hares (Lepus europaeus). Mammalian Biology 66 (Suppl): 39

Ludescher, B; Hackländer, K; Frisch, C; Sternbach, E; Steineck, T; Suchentrunk, F (2001): Heterozygosity and fertility in Brown hares (Lepus europaeus) from eastern Austria. 75. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde, September 2001, Berlin. Mammalian Biology 66 (Suppl.): 20-21

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