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Article

Implications of Historical and Contemporary Processes on Genetic Differentiation of a Declining Boreal Songbird: The Rusty Blackbird

1
U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA
2
Institute of Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
3
Department of Biosciences, Durham University, Stockton Road, Durham DH13LE, UK
4
Biodiversity Initiative, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
5
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Migratory Bird Center, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA
6
United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Management, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA
7
United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Birds, Atlanta, GA 30345, USA
8
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H1, Canada
9
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, AB T6H 3S5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stacy A. McNulty
Diversity 2021, 13(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13030103
Received: 9 February 2021 / Revised: 16 February 2021 / Accepted: 16 February 2021 / Published: 25 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Boreal Bird Ecology, Management and Conservation)
The arrangement of habitat features via historical or contemporary events can strongly influence genomic and demographic connectivity, and in turn affect levels of genetic diversity and resilience of populations to environmental perturbation. The rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) is a forested wetland habitat specialist whose population size has declined sharply (78%) over recent decades. The species breeds across the expansive North American boreal forest region, which contains a mosaic of habitat conditions resulting from active natural disturbance regimes and glacial history. We used landscape genomics to evaluate how past and present landscape features have shaped patterns of genetic diversity and connectivity across the species’ breeding range. Based on reduced-representation genomic and mitochondrial DNA, genetic structure followed four broad patterns influenced by both historical and contemporary forces: (1) an east–west partition consistent with vicariance during the last glacial maximum; (2) a potential secondary contact zone between eastern and western lineages at James Bay, Ontario; (3) insular differentiation of birds on Newfoundland; and (4) restricted regional gene flow among locales within western and eastern North America. The presence of genomic structure and therefore restricted dispersal among populations may limit the species’ capacity to respond to rapid environmental change. View Full-Text
Keywords: Euphagus carolinus; genetic diversity; boreal; glacial refugia; phylogeography Euphagus carolinus; genetic diversity; boreal; glacial refugia; phylogeography
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wilson, R.E.; Matsuoka, S.M.; Powell, L.L.; Johnson, J.A.; Demarest, D.W.; Stralberg, D.; Sonsthagen, S.A. Implications of Historical and Contemporary Processes on Genetic Differentiation of a Declining Boreal Songbird: The Rusty Blackbird. Diversity 2021, 13, 103. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13030103

AMA Style

Wilson RE, Matsuoka SM, Powell LL, Johnson JA, Demarest DW, Stralberg D, Sonsthagen SA. Implications of Historical and Contemporary Processes on Genetic Differentiation of a Declining Boreal Songbird: The Rusty Blackbird. Diversity. 2021; 13(3):103. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13030103

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wilson, Robert E., Steven M. Matsuoka, Luke L. Powell, James A. Johnson, Dean W. Demarest, Diana Stralberg, and Sarah A. Sonsthagen. 2021. "Implications of Historical and Contemporary Processes on Genetic Differentiation of a Declining Boreal Songbird: The Rusty Blackbird" Diversity 13, no. 3: 103. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13030103

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