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Population genetic structure and long-distance dispersal of a recently expanding migratory bird

AuthorsRamos, Raül; Song, Gang; Navarro, Joan ; Zhang, Ruiying; Symes, Craig, T.; Forero, Manuela G. ; Lei, Fumin
KeywordsEuropean bee-eater
Genetic diversity
Long-distance dispersal
Merops apiaster
Nosema cerenae
Range expansion
Issue DateJun-2016
CitationMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 99: 194-203
AbstractLong-distance dispersal events and their derivable increases of genetic diversity have been highlighted as important ecological and evolutionary determinants that improve performances of range-expanding species. In the context of global environmental change, specific dispersal strategies have to be understood and foreseen if we like to prevent general biodiversity impoverishment or the spread of allochthonous diseases. We explored the genetic structure and potential population mixing on the recently range-expanding European bee-eater Merops apiaster. In addition, the species is suspected of harbouring and disseminating the most relevant disease for bees and apiculture, Nosema microsporidia. In agreement with complementary ringing recovery data and morphometric measurements, genetic results on two mitochondrial genes and 12 microsatellites showed a reasonably well-structured population partitioning along its breeding distribution. Microsatellite results indicated that not only did a few birds recently disperse long distance during their return migrations and change their natal breeding areas, but also that a group of allochthonous birds together founded a new colony. Although we did not provide evidence on the direct implication of birds in the widespread of Nosema parasites, our finding on the long-distance dispersal of bird flocks between remote breeding colonies adds concern about the role of European bee-eaters in the spread of such disease at a large, inter-continental scale.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2016.03.015
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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