Population genetics of two North American passerines with mixed migration strategies
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Lethbridge, Alta. : Dept. of Biological Sciences
This thesis used molecular markers to examine population genetics of two North American passerines. My study focused on golden-crowned kinglets and red-breasted nuthatches, forest dwelling birds with migratory and resident populations. I used restriction site-associated DNA sequencing to analyse single nucleotide polymorphisms in both species. Additionally, I used microsatellite markers to study red-breasted nuthatch populations. Golden-crowned kinglets show an east-west split caused by their time in multiple glacial refugia during the Pleistocene. I also examined differences between their resident and migratory populations and identified potential candidate genes for migration. In red-breasted nuthatches, I found little population structure despite their large range. However, some differentiation is present in peripheral populations. They likely experienced rapid expansion from one glacial refugium following the Pleistocene and gene flow between populations is maintained by irruptive migrations. My thesis provides an example of how species develop different genetic patterns in response to historical and contemporary processes.
population genetics , passerines , golden-crowned kinglets , red-breasted nuthatches , migratory populations , resident populations , barriers to gene flow , molecular markers , Animal population genetics , Passeriformes--North America , Golden-crowned kinglet--Research , Golden-crowned kinglet--Genetics , Golden-crowned kinglet--Migration , Nuthatches--Research , Nuthatches--Genetics , Nuthatches--Migration , Genetic polymorphisms , Dissertations, Academic