June 2018

Caribou and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) throughout their extensive Holarctic distribution encompass a broad variety of ecosystems that include temperate and mountain forests, taiga and sub-arctic, arctic or alpine tundra. This diversity corresponds to differences in animal habitat preferences, space-use, and migratory behaviour, which have led to different ecotype designations.
Considering multiple different spatial scales and integrating various potential isolating mechanisms, here, we simultaneously quantified the roles of geography, environment, drift, and historical isolation in shaping the spatial distribution of genetic variation for caribou and reindeer throughout the circumpolar species' range. Photo of a North-American caribou from the migratory tundra ecotype (Rivière-aux-Feuilles herd, Québec) taken by Maël Le Corre during a field expedition in Northern Québec. Full paper here

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