thumbnail

Conservation genetics of snowy plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus) in the Western Hemisphere: Population genetic structure and delineation of subspecies

Conservation Genetics

By:
, , and
DOI: 10.1007/s10592-006-9278-7

Links

Abstract

We examined the genetic structure of snowy plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus) in North America, the Caribbean, and the west coast of South America to quantify variation within and among breeding areas and to test the validity of three previously recognized subspecies. Sequences (676 bp) from domains I and II of the mitochondrial control region were analyzed for 166 snowy plovers from 20 breeding areas. Variation was also examined at 10 microsatellite loci for 144 snowy plovers from 14 breeding areas. The mtDNA and microsatellite data provided strong evidence that the Puerto Rican breeding group is genetically divergent from sites in the continental U.S. (net sequence divergence = 0.38%; F ST for microsatellites = 0.190). Our data also revealed high levels of differentiation between sites from South America and North America (net sequence divergence = 0.81%; F ST for microsatellites = 0.253). In contrast, there was little genetic structure among breeding sites within the continental U.S. Our results suggest that snowy plovers in Florida should be considered part of C. a. nivosus (rather than part of C. a. tenuirostris, where they are currently placed), whereas snowy plovers from Puerto Rico should be considered part of C. a. tenuirostris. Snowy plovers in South America should remain a separate subspecies (C. a. occidentalis). Although U.S. Pacific and Gulf Coast breeding areas were not genetically distinct from other continental U.S. sites, demographic isolation, unique coastal habitats, and recent population declines suggest they warrant special concern. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Conservation genetics of snowy plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus) in the Western Hemisphere: Population genetic structure and delineation of subspecies
Series title:
Conservation Genetics
DOI:
10.1007/s10592-006-9278-7
Volume
8
Issue:
6
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Conservation Genetics
First page:
1287
Last page:
1309