Aim: The Striped Hamster (Cricetulus barabensis) is characterized by high reproductive ability, seasonal breeding feature, and fluctuation on population abundance in different years and seasons. Fluctuation on population abundance is assumed to affect genetic diversity. However, the relationship between the genetic diversity and the abundance of Striped Hamster population is less understood.
Methods: In this study, the Striped Hamsters were captured from Wu village of Shandong province in the autumn and spring from 2004-2008, and that both seasonal populations and yearly populations were studied. Genetic structure of the Striped Hamsters was studied by using DNA microsatellite markers. The relative density of the Striped Hamster was estimated by the rate of trap success. Temporal variation of the genetic structure and the trap success were analysed to determine the correlation between the genetic structure and the trap success.
Result: The results showed that the genetic structure and the population density were significantly fluctuated with the time. The genetic diversity of the Striped Hamster population was positively correlated with the population density and the increase of the genetic diversity was correlated with the decrease in population density between spring and autumn population.
Conclusion: The specific reasons for these results may be caused by density- and seasonal-dependent dispersal of the Striped Hamster, which is in accordance with Elton hypothesis.Author(s): Laixiang Xu, Huiliang Xue, Jinhui Xu, Lei Chen