Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2015 Feb 13;10(2):e0117981. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117981. eCollection 2015.

Spatial heterogeneity as a genetic mixing mechanism in highly philopatric colonial seabirds.

Author information

  • 1Université de Strasbourg (UdS), Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Laboratoire International Associé LIA-647 BioSensib (CSM-CNRS-UdS), Strasbourg Cedex 02, France; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), UMR 7178, LIA-647 BioSensib, Strasbourg Cedex 02, France; Centre Scientifique de Monaco (CSM), LIA-647 BioSensib, 8, Quai Antoine 1er, Monaco, Principality of Monaco; University of Oslo, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, Department of Biosciences, Postboks 1066, Blindern, Oslo, Norway.
  • 2University of Oslo, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, Department of Biosciences, Postboks 1066, Blindern, Oslo, Norway.
  • 3Université de Strasbourg (UdS), Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Laboratoire International Associé LIA-647 BioSensib (CSM-CNRS-UdS), Strasbourg Cedex 02, France; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), UMR 7178, LIA-647 BioSensib, Strasbourg Cedex 02, France.
  • 4Université de Strasbourg (UdS), Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Laboratoire International Associé LIA-647 BioSensib (CSM-CNRS-UdS), Strasbourg Cedex 02, France; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), UMR 7178, LIA-647 BioSensib, Strasbourg Cedex 02, France; Centre Scientifique de Monaco (CSM), LIA-647 BioSensib, 8, Quai Antoine 1er, Monaco, Principality of Monaco.
  • 5Centre Scientifique de Monaco (CSM), LIA-647 BioSensib, 8, Quai Antoine 1er, Monaco, Principality of Monaco; University of Oslo, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, Department of Biosciences, Postboks 1066, Blindern, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

How genetic diversity is maintained in philopatric colonial systems remains unclear, and understanding the dynamic balance of philopatry and dispersal at all spatial scales is essential to the study of the evolution of coloniality. In the King penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus, return rates of post-fledging chicks to their natal sub-colony are remarkably high. Empirical studies have shown that adults return year after year to their previous breeding territories within a radius of a few meters. Yet, little reliable data are available on intra- and inter-colonial dispersal in this species. Here, we present the first fine-scale study of the genetic structure in a king penguin colony in the Crozet Archipelago. Samples were collected from individual chicks and analysed at 8 microsatellite loci. Precise geolocation data of hatching sites and selective pressures associated with habitat features were recorded for all sampling locations. We found that despite strong natal and breeding site fidelity, king penguins retain a high degree of panmixia and genetic diversity. Yet, genetic structure appears markedly heterogeneous across the colony, with higher-than-expected inbreeding levels, and local inbreeding and relatedness hotspots that overlap predicted higher-quality nesting locations. This points towards heterogeneous population structure at the sub-colony level, in which fine-scale environmental features drive local philopatric behaviour, while lower-quality patches may act as genetic mixing mechanisms at the colony level. These findings show how a lack of global genetic structuring can emerge from small-scale heterogeneity in ecological parameters, as opposed to the classical model of homogeneous dispersal. Our results also emphasize the importance of sampling design for estimation of population parameters in colonial seabirds, as at high spatial resolution, basic genetic features are shown to be location-dependent. Finally, this study stresses the importance of understanding intra-colonial dispersal and genetic mixing mechanisms in order to better estimate species-wide gene flows and population dynamics.

PMID:
25680103
PMCID:
PMC4332635
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0117981
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center