University of Tasmania
143981 - The effects of weather variability on patterns of genetic diversity in Tasmanian bettongs - manuscript.pdf (496.58 kB)

The effects of weather variability on patterns of genetic diversity in Tasmanian bettongs

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 22:51 authored by Kirstin Proft, Bateman, BL, Christopher JohnsonChristopher Johnson, Menna JonesMenna Jones, Pauza, M, Christopher BurridgeChristopher Burridge
While the effects of climate (long‐term, prevailing weather) on species abundance, range and genetic diversity have been widely studied, short‐term, localized variations in atmospheric conditions (i.e., weather) can also rapidly alter species’ geographical ranges and population sizes, but little is known about how they affect genetic diversity. We investigated the relationship between weather and range‐wide genetic diversity in a marsupial, Bettongia gaimardi, using dynamic species distribution models (SDMs). Genetic diversity was lower in parts of the range where the weather‐based SDM predicted high variability in probability of B. gaimardi occurrence during 1950–2009. This is probably an effect of lower population sizes and extinction–recolonization cycles in places with highly variable weather. Spatial variation in genetic diversity was also better predicted by mean probabilities of B. gaimardi occurrence from weather‐ than climate‐based SDMs. Our results illustrate the importance of weather in driving population dynamics and species distributions on decadal timescales and thereby in affecting genetic diversity. Modelling the links between changing weather patterns, species distributions and genetic diversity will allow researchers to better forecast biological impacts of climate change.


Australian Research Council

Greening Australia (TAS) Ltd


Publication title

Molecular Ecology










School of Natural Sciences


Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

9600 Garsington Rd, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox4 2Dg

Rights statement

Copyright 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Terrestrial biodiversity