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The challenges of detecting subtle population structure and its importance for the conservation of emperor penguins

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dc.contributor Univ Southampton
dc.contributor Dept Biol
dc.contributor University Of Edinburgh
dc.contributor University Of Southampton
dc.contributor University Of New Hampshire
dc.contributor Dept Nat Resources & Environm
dc.contributor Indian Ocean Marine Res Ctr
dc.contributor Dept Zool
dc.contributor Ocean & Earth Sci
dc.contributor Univ Edinburgh
dc.contributor University Of Western Australia
dc.contributor Univ Western Australia
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor University Of Oxford
dc.contributor Edinburgh Genom
dc.contributor Univ New Hampshire
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Univ Oxford
dc.contributor Loyola University Chicago
dc.contributor Loyola Univ
dc.contributor Ashworth Labs
dc.contributor University System Of New Hampshire MILLER, KAREN J. YOUNGER, JANE L. CLUCAS, GEMMA V. KAO, DAMIAN ROGERS, ALEX D. GHARBI, KARIM HART, TOM 2017-08-20T19:01:09Z 2017-08-20T19:01:09Z 2019-07-08T02:18:42Z 2017-08-20T19:01:09Z 2017-08-20T19:01:09Z 2019-07-08T02:18:42Z 2017-08-01
dc.identifier.citation Younger JL, Clucas GV, Kao DM, Rogers AD, Gharbi K, Hart T, Miller KJ (2017) The challenges of detecting subtle population structure and its importance for the conservation of emperor penguins. Molecular Ecology 26: 3883-3897
dc.identifier.issn 0962-1083
dc.description.abstract Understanding the boundaries of breeding populations is of great importance for conservation efforts and estimates of extinction risk for threatened species. However, determining these boundaries can be difficult when population structure is subtle. Emperor penguins are highly reliant on sea ice, and some populations may be in jeopardy as climate change alters sea-ice extent and quality. An understanding of emperor penguin population structure is therefore urgently needed. Two previous studies have differed in their conclusions, particularly whether the Ross Sea, a major stronghold for the species, is isolated or not. We assessed emperor penguin population structure using 4,596 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), characterized in 110 individuals (10-16 per colony) from eight colonies around Antarctica. In contrast to a previous conclusion that emperor penguins are panmictic around the entire continent, we find that emperor penguins comprise at least four metapopulations, and that the Ross Sea is clearly a distinct metapopulation. Using larger sample sizes and a thorough assessment of the limitations of different analytical methods, we have shown that population structure within emperor penguins does exist and argue that its recognition is vital for the effective conservation of the species. We discuss the many difficulties that molecular ecologists and managers face in the detection and interpretation of subtle population structure using large SNP data sets, and argue that subtle structure should be taken into account when determining management strategies for threatened species, until accurate estimates of demographic connectivity among populations can be made.
dc.description.sponsorship Australian Antarctic Science Program; Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment; Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation; Natural Environment Research Council; Endeavour Research Fellowship; The Darwin Initiative, Grant/Award Number: DPLUS 002; NSF Creative Science Award, Grant/Award Number: DPP-87-15864; Charities Advisory Trust; Australian Antarctic Division
dc.language English
dc.subject Rad-seq
dc.subject Adelie Penguin
dc.subject Pointe Geologie
dc.subject Migration Rates
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Species Trees
dc.subject Antarctic Peninsula
dc.subject Antarctica
dc.subject Population Genomics
dc.subject Evolutionary Biology
dc.subject Ross Sea
dc.subject Climate-change
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Mawson Coast
dc.subject Genetic Differentiation
dc.subject Southern Ocean
dc.subject Unsampled Populations
dc.subject Dispersal
dc.subject Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
dc.subject Sampled Populations
dc.title The challenges of detecting subtle population structure and its importance for the conservation of emperor penguins
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1111/mec.14172
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000406361200005

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