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Data from: Serial founder effects and genetic differentiation during worldwide range expansion of monarch butterflies

Citation

Pierce, Amanda A. et al. (2014), Data from: Serial founder effects and genetic differentiation during worldwide range expansion of monarch butterflies, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mb437

Abstract

Range expansions can result in founder effects, increasing genetic differentiation between expanding populations and reducing genetic diversity along the expansion front. However, few studies have addressed these effects in long-distance migratory species, for which high dispersal ability might counter the effects of genetic drift. Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) are best known for undertaking a long-distance annual migration in North America, but have also dispersed around the world to form populations that do not migrate or travel only short distances. Here, we used microsatellite markers to assess genetic differentiation among 18 monarch populations and to determine worldwide colonization routes. Our results indicate that North American monarch populations connected by land show limited differentiation, probably because of the monarch's ability to migrate long distances. Conversely, we found high genetic differentiation between populations separated by large bodies of water. Moreover, we show evidence for serial founder effects across the Pacific, suggesting stepwise dispersal from a North American origin. These findings demonstrate that genetic drift played a major role in shaping allele frequencies and created genetic differentiation among newly formed populations. Thus, range expansion can give rise to genetic differentiation and declines in genetic diversity, even in highly mobile species.

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Location

Ecuador
USA
Puerto Rico
Fiji
Hawaii
Belize
Aruba
Portugal
Samoa
New Caledonia
Costa Rica
Spain
New Zealand
Morocco
South Florida
Mexico
Bermuda
Australia