Publication details.


Author(s):M. Genovart, J.-C. Thibault, J.M. Igual, M.M. Bauza-Ribot, C. Rabouam, V. Bretagnolle,
Title:Population Structure and Dispersal Patterns within and between Atlantic and Mediterranean Populations of a Large-Range Pelagic Seabird
Journal:PLoS One
JCR Impact Factor:3.534
Issue No.:8
Abstract:Dispersal is critically linked to the demographic and evolutionary trajectories of populations, but in most seabird species it may be difficult to estimate. Using molecular tools, we explored population structure and the spatial dispersal pattern of a highly pelagic but philopatric seabird, the Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea. Microsatellite fragments were analysed from samples collected across almost the entire breeding range of the species. To help disentangle the taxonomic status of the two subspecies described, the Atlantic form C. d. borealis and the Mediterranean form C. d. diomedea, we analysed genetic divergence between subspecies and quantified both historical and recent migration rates between the Mediterranean and Atlantic basins. We also searched for evidence of isolation by distance (IBD) and addressed spatial patterns of gene flow. We found a low genetic structure in the Mediterranean basin. Conversely, strong genetic differentiation appeared in the Atlantic basin. Even if the species was mostly philopatric (97%), results suggest recent dispersal between basins, especially from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean (aprox. 10% of migrants/generation across the last two generations). Long-term gene flow analyses also suggested an historical exchange between basins (about 70 breeders/generation). Spatial analysis of genetic variation indicates that distance is not the main factor in shaping genetic structure in this species. Given our results we recommend gathering more data before concluded whether these taxa should be treated as two species or subspecies. © 2013 Genovart et al.

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