Data from: Influence of ecological and geological features on rangewide patterns of genetic structure in a widespread passerine.
Adams, Rachael V.; Burg, Theresa M. (2014), Data from: Influence of ecological and geological features on rangewide patterns of genetic structure in a widespread passerine., Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k086v
Geological and ecological features restrict dispersal and gene flow, leading to isolated populations. Dispersal barriers can be obvious physical structures in the landscape; however microgeographic differences can also lead to genetic isolation. Our study examined dispersal barriers at both macro- and micro-geographical scales in the black-capped chickadee, a resident North American songbird. Although birds have high dispersal potential, evidence suggests dispersal is restricted by barriers. The chickadee’s range encompasses a number of physiological features which may impede movement and lead to divergence. Analyses of 913 individuals from 34 sampling sites across the entire range using 11 microsatellite loci revealed as many as 13 genetic clusters. Populations in the east were largely panmictic whereas populations in the western portion of the range showed significant genetic structure, which often coincided with large mountain ranges, such as the Cascade and Rocky Mountains, as well as areas of unsuitable habitat. Unlike populations in the central and southern Rockies, populations on either side of the northern Rockies were not genetically distinct. Furthermore, Northeast Oregon represents a forested island within the Great Basin; genetically isolated from all other populations. Substructuring at the microgeographical scale was also evident within the Fraser Plateau of central British Columbia, and in the southeast Rockies where no obvious physical barriers are present, suggesting additional factors may be impeding dispersal and gene flow. Dispersal barriers are therefore not restricted to large physical structures, although mountain ranges and large water bodies do play a large role in structuring populations in this study.