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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Računska orodja za varstveno genetiko in genetski monitoring rjavega medveda (Ursus arctos) (Slovene)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.01  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology  Zoology and zoophysiology 

Code Science Field
1.06  Natural Sciences  Biological sciences 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  32513  PhD Maja Jan  Biology  Technical associate  2010 - 2012  88 
2.  17424  Franc Kljun    Technical associate  2009 - 2012  55 
3.  06960  PhD Ivan Kos  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  562 
4.  11775  PhD Tomaž Podobnik  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2012  381 
5.  18628  PhD Hubert Potočnik  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  286 
6.  25992  PhD Tomaž Skrbinšek  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  228 
7.  14835  PhD Peter Trontelj  Biology  Head  2009 - 2012  424 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,255 
2.  1554  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics  Ljubljana  1627007  34,060 
Significance for science
Molecular genetics has become an indispensable part of ecological and conservation-oriented studies. However, the development of adequate new theoretical and analytical approaches is often lagging behind the speedy growth of molecular methods. We tried to fill two aspects of this gap that are important for efficient conservation work, and that at the same time present challenges to the scientific community: 1. A generalization of existing analytical tools that are suitable for single-populations analyses, in order to enable long-term monitoring and spatially integrated analysis of different populations. We did so by applying new single-sample estimates of effective population size (Ne) to spatial series of genetic data obtained during the course of standard population monitoring. Effective population size is an important conservation genetic parameter that summarizes the evolutionary potential of a population together with its vulnerability toward stochastic events. In several endangered species with wide ranges, many independent genetic diversity studies in different countries exist, but their results are not compatible with each other due to different loci used and differences in sample size. Such comparisons nevertheless are important, e.g. for the assessment of conservation status of populations. We therefore have developed a method that uses a single well-studied population as yardstick for calibration, rendering results from different studies mutually comparable. 2. Correction of population size or density estimation bias in mark-recapture methods caused by edge effect. The Edge effect is a well-known problem in ecology that arises when the sampling area is smaller than the entire population range, thus violating the assumption of population closure, which in turn leads to systematic bias of population size or density estimates. No efficient solution for this problem exists. We have developed a method that uses computer simulations to estimate the bias of biological key parameters, based on which one can estimate and apply the necessary correction to the final density estimate.
Significance for the country
Because of its well-preserved nature and wildlife, Slovenia carries a great deal of international responsibility in the joint effort to conserve and sustain common European and global natural heritage. An important integral part of this heritage are the sizable large carnivore populations that act also as a natural stepping stone between the wider ecoregions of Balkans and the Alps. Slovenia is internationally obliged to take care of these populations through long term monitoring and sustainable wildlife management. Both of these tasks demand accurate data on population numbers, density, distribution, age structure and other parameters. The results of this project represent a substantial improvement in the way these data can routinely be produced, analyzed and implemented. Large amounts of genetic data about the Slovenian and the wider Dinaric brown bear population have been incorporated into a new comprehensive data storage and handling application (MisBase) developed during this project. With the aid of this application it was possible, for example, to trace and solve the notorious forensic case of illegal killing of the bear "Rožnik". Our optimized genetic monitoring approach revealed a serious decline in conservation genetic indicators of the Slovenian lynx population through time. To counter the unfavorable development caused by the complete isolation of this local population, refreshment by individuals from other populations will be necessary. Finally, we delivered a set of newly developed or optimized protocols for the identification of domestic animals kills by free-living carnivores that has already been successfully implemented in the national management strategy for wolfs.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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