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Data from: Non-equilibrium conditions explain spatial variability in genetic structuring of little penguin (Eudyptula minor)

Citation

Burridge, Christopher P. et al. (2015), Data from: Non-equilibrium conditions explain spatial variability in genetic structuring of little penguin (Eudyptula minor), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v147d

Abstract

Factors responsible for spatial structuring of population genetic variation are varied, and in many instances there may be no obvious explanations for genetic structuring observed, or those invoked may reflect spurious correlations. A study of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) in southeast Australia documented low spatial structuring of genetic variation with the exception of colonies at the western limit of sampling, and this distinction was attributed to an intervening oceanographic feature (Bonney Upwelling), differences in breeding phenology, or sea level change. Here, we conducted sampling across the entire Australian range, employing additional markers (12 microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA, 697 individuals, 17 colonies). The zone of elevated genetic structuring previously observed actually represents the eastern half of a genetic cline, within which structuring exists over much shorter spatial scales than elsewhere. Colonies separated by as little as 27 km in the zone are genetically distinguishable, while outside the zone, homogeneity cannot be rejected at scales of up to 1400 km. Given a lack of additional physical or environmental barriers to gene flow, the zone of elevated genetic structuring may reflect secondary contact of lineages (with or without selection against interbreeding), or recent colonization and expansion from this region. This study highlights the importance of sampling scale to reveal the cause of genetic structuring.

Usage Notes

Location

Australia