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Mol Ecol. 2018 Dec;27(23):4680-4697. doi: 10.1111/mec.14896. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Comparative population genomics reveals key barriers to dispersal in Southern Ocean penguins.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
2
Ocean & Earth Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
3
Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire.
4
Department of Biology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
5
Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania, Australia.
6
Centre d'Études Biologiques de Chizé, UMR -CNRS 7372, Villiers-en-Bois, France.
7
Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.
8
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
9
Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
10
Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
11
DST/NRF Centre of Excellence, Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
12
Marine Apex Predator Research Unit, Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
13
Falklands Conservation, Stanley, Falkland Islands.
14
British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, Cambridge, UK.
15
Australian Institute of Marine Science, Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, The University of Western Australia (M096), Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.

Abstract

The mechanisms that determine patterns of species dispersal are important factors in the production and maintenance of biodiversity. Understanding these mechanisms helps to forecast the responses of species to environmental change. Here, we used a comparative framework and genomewide data obtained through RAD-Seq to compare the patterns of connectivity among breeding colonies for five penguin species with shared ancestry, overlapping distributions and differing ecological niches, allowing an examination of the intrinsic and extrinsic barriers governing dispersal patterns. Our findings show that at-sea range and oceanography underlie patterns of dispersal in these penguins. The pelagic niche of emperor (Aptenodytes forsteri), king (A. patagonicus), Adélie (Pygoscelis adeliae) and chinstrap (P. antarctica) penguins facilitates gene flow over thousands of kilometres. In contrast, the coastal niche of gentoo penguins (P. papua) limits dispersal, resulting in population divergences. Oceanographic fronts also act as dispersal barriers to some extent. We recommend that forecasts of extinction risk incorporate dispersal and that management units are defined by at-sea range and oceanography in species lacking genetic data.

KEYWORDS:

Aptenodytes ; Pygoscelis ; Polar Front; RAD-Seq; genetic differentiation; population genomics

PMID:
30308702
DOI:
10.1111/mec.14896

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