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Data from: Outlier analyses to test for local adaptation to breeding grounds in a migratory arctic seabird

Cite this dataset

Tigano, Anna et al. (2018). Data from: Outlier analyses to test for local adaptation to breeding grounds in a migratory arctic seabird [Dataset]. Dryad.


Investigating the extent (or the existence) of local adaptation is crucial to understanding how populations adapt. When experiments or fitness measurements are difficult or impossible to perform in natural populations, genomic techniques allow us to investigate local adaptation through the comparison of allele frequencies and outlier loci along environmental clines. The thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia) is a highly philopatric colonial arctic seabird that occupies a significant environmental gradient, shows marked phenotypic differences among colonies, and has large effective population sizes. To test whether thick-billed murres from five colonies along the eastern Canadian Arctic coast show genomic signatures of local adaptation to their breeding grounds, we analyzed geographic variation in genome-wide markers mapped to a newly assembled thick-billed murre reference genome. We used outlier analyses to detect loci putatively under selection, and clustering analyses to investigate patterns of differentiation based on 2220 genomewide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 137 outlier SNPs. We found no evidence of population structure among colonies using all loci but found population structure based on outliers only, where birds from the two northernmost colonies (Minarets and Prince Leopold) grouped with birds from the southernmost colony (Gannet), and birds from Coats and Akpatok were distinct from all other colonies. Although results from our analyses did not support local adaptation along the latitudinal cline of breeding colonies, outlier loci grouped birds from different colonies according to their non-breeding distributions, suggesting that outliers may be informative about adaptation and/or demographic connectivity associated with their migration patterns or nonbreeding grounds.

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Atlantic Canada