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Climatic and geographic effects on the spatial genetic pattern of a landbird species (Alectoris rufa) on the Iberian Peninsula

AutorFerrero, María Ester ; Blanco-Aguiar, José Antonio ; Dávila, José A.
Palabras claveClimate
Red-legged partridge
Census size
Genetic diversity
Fecha de publicación2016
CitaciónPopulation Ecology 58(3): 429-440 (2016)
ResumenUnderstanding the spatial pattern of genetic diversity may be pivotal to adaptive conservation management of a given taxon. The red-legged partridge (Alectorisrufa, Linnaeus 1758) is naturally widely distributed from the Mediterranean to humid temperate zones. According to a recent study, the genetic structure of this species comprises five clusters, three of which are in the Iberian Peninsula (glacial refugia). Partridge demographic expansion events and climatic shifts during Pleistocene glaciations have been used to test the hypotheses concerning Iberian red-legged partridge distribution. We tested the existence of climatic and geographic relationships on genetic diversity/distances. We employed markers from two different genetic systems, such as part of the mitochondrial DNA control region (n = 113) and 20 species-specific microsatellite DNA loci (n = 377), including climatic and geographic factors from the 14 Iberian localities where A. rufa populations were sampled. Our results showed a mitochondrial genetic diversity pattern associated with a thermic gradient, and a decrease of genetic diversity in peripheral populations that concurred with the ‘abundant centre’ hypothesis. Overall, current climatic variables reliably described genetic variation and differentiation in the red-legged partridge, which may be a result of local species adaptation.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1007/s10144-016-0553-2
issn: 1438-3896
e-issn: 1438-390X
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