Phylogeography of three high latitude resident corvids : Clark’s nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana), Eurasian nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), and gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis)
Dohms, Kimberly M.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences
High latitude resident bird species provide an unique opportunity to investigate patterns of postglacial and barrier-mediated dispersal. In this study, multiple genetic markers were used to understand postglacial colonization by and contemporary barriers to gene flow in three corvids. Clark’s nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana), Eurasian nutcracker (N. caryocatactes), and gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis) are year-round resident northern hemisphere passerines with ranges encompassing previously glaciated and unglaciated regions and potential barriers to dispersal (e.g. mountain ranges). Using mitochondrial DNA control region sequences, we found limited geographic genetic structure and one glacial refugium in nutcrackers, contrasting with seven distinct genetic groups and five refugia for gray jays. Nuclear microsatellite markers revealed additional and contrasting patterns of near-panmixia in nutcrackers and multiple hierarchical breaks in gray jays. Genetic patterns are explained by differences in natural history traits, specifically food preferences, for these species.
barrier-mediated dispersal , gene flow , high latitude resident bird species , mitochondrial DNA , phylogeography , postglacial dispersal