Data from: Birds in space & time: genetic changes accompanying anthropogenic habitat fragmentation in the endangered black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla)
Athrey, Giridhar; Barr, Kelly R.; Lance, Richard F.; Leberg, Paul L. (2011), Data from: Birds in space & time: genetic changes accompanying anthropogenic habitat fragmentation in the endangered black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2r030k5p
Anthropogenic alterations of the natural environment can be a potent evolutionary force. For species that have specific habitat requirements, habitat loss can result in substantial genetic effects, potentially impeding future adaptability and evolution. The endangered black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla) suffered a substantial contraction of breeding habitat and population size during much of the 20th century. In a previous study we reported significant differentiation between remnant populations, but failed to recover a strong genetic signal of bottlenecks. In this study, we used a combination of historical and contemporary sampling from Oklahoma and Texas to i) determine if population structure and genetic diversity have changed over time, and ii) evaluate alternate demographic hypotheses using Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC). We found lower genetic diversity and increased differentiation in contemporary samples compared to historical samples –indicating non-trivial impacts of fragmentation. ABC analysis suggests a bottleneck having occurred in the early part of the 20th century, resulting in a magnitude decline in effective population size. Genetic monitoring with temporally spaced samples, such as used in this present study, can be highly informative for assessing the genetic impacts of anthropogenic fragmentation on threatened or endangered species, as well as revealing the dynamics of small populations over time.