Quantifier la perméabilité des domaines skiables pour la Grenouille rousse (Rana temporaria) : une approche combinant suivi GPS et génétique du paysage

Abstract : Animal disperal is a key process for maintaining populations and metapopulations. In particular, amphibians move a lot during their life cycle made of seasonal migrations. This makes them sensitive to the structure of the landscape. Indeed, anthropogenic changes such as linear infrastructure can act as ecological barriers for animals and limit gene flow within the landscape. While the effects of roads and railways on animal movements have been widely studied, the effects of infrastructure related to winter sports activities such as ski slopes and lifts are less well known. Thus, the permeability of anthropized mountain environments is little known. This thesis aims to quantify the ecological permeability (or functional connectivity) of ski areas for a widely distributed mountain amphibian: the European common frog (Rana temporaria Linnaeus 1758). To do this, we combine individual movement tracking and landscape genetics studies to better understand the factors influencing frog movements and gene flow within the landscape. Individual tracking is carried out by means of GPS tags and step selection analysis. The landscape genetics study is carried out by gathering DNA samples from three ski areas in Savoie and a control area located in the Vanoise National Park. We tested the influence of several landscape variables related to topography (slope, altitude...), habitats (wetland network, land cover...) or human activities (presence of roads, ski slopes) on gene flow. By using a new method of resistance surface optimization, we show the importance of the wetland network for mountain amphibians. On the one hand, they serve as preferential habitat and, on the other hand, a dense network of wetlands ensures good landscape connectivity for the Common frog. We also highlight that the heterogeneity in effective population sizes in a landscape can distort the genetic distances measured between populations and we recommend the use of techniques to overcome such problems. Our work is important for the sustainable management of ski areas, the development of ski slopes or other recreational infrastructure that can be accompanied by the destruction of wetlands.
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Etienne Boncourt. Quantifier la perméabilité des domaines skiables pour la Grenouille rousse (Rana temporaria) : une approche combinant suivi GPS et génétique du paysage. Biodiversité et Ecologie. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019GREAV011⟩. ⟨tel-02191664⟩

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