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Mechanisms of population genetic heterogeneity among molting common mergansers on Kodiak Island, Alaska: implications for assessments of migratory connectivity

Condor

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Abstract

Quantifying population genetic heterogeneity within nonbreeding aggregations can inform our understanding of patterns of site fidelity, migratory connectivity, and gene flow between breeding and nonbreeding areas. However, characterizing mechanisms that contribute to heterogeneity, such as migration and dispersal, is required before site fidelity and migratory connectivity can be assessed accurately. We studied nonbreeding groups of Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser) molting on Kodiak Island, Alaska, from 2005 to 2007, using banding data to assess rates of recapture, mitochondrial (mt) DNA to determine natal area, and nuclear microsatellite genotypes to assess dispersal. Using baseline information from differentiated mtDNA haplogroups across North America, we were able to assign individuals to natal regions and document population genetic heterogeneity within and among molting groups. Band-recovery and DNA data suggest that both migration from and dispersal among natal areas contribute to admixed groups of males molting on Kodiak Island. A lack of differentiation in the Common Merganser's nuclear, bi-parentally inherited DNA, observed across North America, implies that dispersal can mislead genetic assessments of migratory connectivity and assignments of nonbreeding individuals to breeding areas. Thus multiple and independent data types are required to account for such behaviors before accurate assessments of migratory connectivity can be made.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mechanisms of population genetic heterogeneity among molting common mergansers on Kodiak Island, Alaska: implications for assessments of migratory connectivity
Series title:
Condor
Volume
111
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Publisher:
Cooper Ornithological Society
Publisher location:
Waco, TX
Contributing office(s):
Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description:
11 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
283
Last page:
293
Time Range Start:
2005-01-01T12:00:00
Time Range End:
2007-12-31T12:00:00
Country:
United States
State:
Alaska
Other Geospatial:
Kodiak Island