Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Mice as Stowaways? Colonization history of Danish striped field mice (Apodemus agrarius) (#670)

Liselotte Wesley Andersen 1 , Magnus Jacobsen 2 , Christina Vedel-Smith 3 , Thomas Secher Jensen 3
  1. Institute of Bioscience-Kalø, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  2. Institute of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  3. Natural History Museum, Aarhus, Aarhus C, Denmark

Species belonging to cultural steppe habitats, like the striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius), are believed to have colonized Northwestern Europe in the footsteps of agriculture after 6500 BP. Nonetheless, the striped field mouse is common on the two southern Danish islands, Lolland and Faster, which have been isolated from mainland Europe by the Baltic Sea since   ̴10,300-8000 BP. This prompts the question; are these populations early founders or later human introductions? In the fall of 2011 a population of striped field mice in Central Jutland in Denmark was discovered, highlighting once more the question of human introductions. This brought our attention to a potato sorting facility in Sweden, where several striped field mice was observed on and around the conveyor belts. Among others, the facility got its potatoes from Central Jutland. We sequenced 86 full mitochondrial genomes from the northwestern range of the striped field mouse, analysed phylogenetic relationships and estimated divergence time. The majority of evidence supported human induced colonization of Lolland and Falster <1900 BP (< 100 BC). The population in Central Jutland diverged from Falster around 200 BP (1800 AD), again favouring human introduction. The single individual we analysed from Sweden turned out to be a recent immigrant from Central Jutland, verifying that human induced colonization is not just a phenomenon of the past.