Haplotype diversity in common pipistrelle’s mass hibernacula from central Europe

Gréta Nusová 1 , Martina Šemeláková 1 , Lenka Paučulová 1 , Marcel Uhrin 1  and Peter Kaňuch 1 , 2
  • 1 Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Moyzesova 11, SK-04001, Košice, Slovakia
  • 2 Institute of Forest Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Ľ. Štúra 2, SK-96053, Zvolen, Slovakia
Gréta Nusová
  • Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Moyzesova 11, SK-04001, Košice, Slovakia
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, Martina Šemeláková
  • Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Moyzesova 11, SK-04001, Košice, Slovakia
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, Lenka Paučulová
  • Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Moyzesova 11, SK-04001, Košice, Slovakia
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, Marcel Uhrin
  • Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Moyzesova 11, SK-04001, Košice, Slovakia
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and Peter Kaňuch
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Moyzesova 11, SK-04001, Košice, Slovakia
  • Institute of Forest Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Ľ. Štúra 2, SK-96053, Zvolen, Slovakia
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Abstract

Mass hibernacula of several tens of thousands of Pipistrellus pipistrellus associated with the swarming of bats during seasonal movements should serve as important sites of gene flow in this species. The massive occurrence of hibernating bats which is observed in few caves in the Carpathian Mountains encourages the idea that the genetic diversity at these sites will be greater comparing to known situation in surrounding region. This study aimed to determine the genetic diversity of individuals that aggregate in two such caves in Slovakia and Romania with the help of a common and available genetic marker. Using an mtDNA cytochrome b, 571 bp long fragment, very low haplotype diversity was found within both mass hibernacula of P. pipistrellus (15 haplotypes only, from which one significantly predominated with > 80% in both caves). The initial screening did not suggest that hibernating bats migrated to mass hibernacula from remote areas behind central European region. However, reliable study of the species’ migratory behaviour is required to understand more about the phenomenon of the mass hibernacula of these bats.

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