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Extreme philopatry and genetic diversification at unprecedented scales in a seabird

Abstract : Effective conservation requires maintenance of the processes underlying species divergence, as well as understanding species' responses to episodic disturbances and long-term change. We explored genetic population structure at a previously unrecognized spatial scale in seabirds, focusing on fine-scale isolation between colonies, and identified two distinct genetic clusters of Barau's Petrels (Pterodroma baraui) on Réunion Island (Indian Ocean) corresponding to the sampled breeding colonies separated by 5 km. This unexpected result was supported by long-term banding and was clearly linked to the species' extreme philopatric tendencies, emphasizing the importance of philopatry as an intrinsic barrier to gene flow. This implies that loss of a single colony could result in the loss of genetic variation, impairing the species' ability to adapt to threats in the long term. We anticipate that these findings will have a pivotal influence on seabird research and population management, focusing attention below the species level of taxonomic organization.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 7:44:54 AM
Last modification on : Friday, November 4, 2022 - 10:31:38 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 6:06:48 PM


2021 Scientific Report GenPteB...
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Daniel K. Danckwerts, Laurence Humeau, Patrick Pinet, Christopher D. Mcquaid, Matthieu Le Corre. Extreme philopatry and genetic diversification at unprecedented scales in a seabird. Scientific Reports, 2021, 11, pp.6834. ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-86406-9⟩. ⟨hal-03269411⟩



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