Meeting Abstract

90-2  Saturday, Jan. 6 10:15 - 10:30  Effects of Urbanization on Genetic Variation: Implications for Adaptability in Response to Rapid Environmental Change SCHMIDT, C*; KINNUNEN, R; GARROWAY, CJ; University of Manitoba; University of Manitoba; University of Manitoba schmid46@myumanitoba.ca

Evolutionary responses to rapid environmental change likely require standing genetic variation. However, rapid environmental changes often fragment and reduce population sizes, thereby reducing genetic variation. Urbanization is an example of extensive, rapid environmental change, and thus provides a workable system to synthetically explore the extent to which environmental change tends to reduce genetic variation. There is evidence for both negative and neutral effects of urbanization on genetic diversity within populations. However, the extent to which genetic diversity loss due to environmental change can be considered general is unknown. Here, using publicly archived population genetic data sets from multiple species and localities, we assess how genetic diversity varies with human population density, a proxy for urbanization. We queried data repositories on DataONE for the >1300 mammal and bird species native to North America, which returned microsatellite data for approximately 60 species. From these data we will calculate population level inbreeding coefficients and gene diversities as measures of genetic variation. In so doing, we explore the effects of rapid environmental change on wildlife adaptability. The extent to which genetic variation is reduced by urbanization has important evolutionary implications for understanding evolutionary responses to rapid global change.