Demographic history of the Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of South America
DANTAS, GISELE PIRES MENDONÇA; MARIA, GABRIELLA CARDOSO; MARASCO, ANNA CAROLINA MILO; CASTRO, LARISSA TORMENA; ALMEIDA, VANESSA SIMÃO; SANTOS, FABRICIO RODRIGUES; OLIVEIRA, LARISSA ROSA; CRESPO, ENRIQUE; FRERE, ESTEBAN; MILLIONES, ANNA; GONZÁLEZ-ACUÑA, DANIEL; MORGANTE, JOÃO STENGHEL; VIANNA, JULIANA A.
JOURNAL FUR ORNITHOLOGIE
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Año: 2018 vol. 159 p. 643 - 655
Spatial subdivision, local extinction and recolonization influence the genetic variation of natural populations. Different levels of population structure can be identified in nature, from panmictic populations, in which high gene flow homogenizes diversity across localities, to metapopulations, where combinations of moderate to high levels of population differentiation and source-sink population dynamics are expected. Gene flow, dispersal and recolonization can be affected by changes in ecological conditions such as climate and resource distribution. Evaluating demographic history is crucial for understanding current population dynamics. We assessed a mitchondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and microsatellite data for 210 Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) from 13 breeding colonies on the coastlines of Chile and Argentina, covering a great portion of the species? distribution. We found high levels of genetic diversity and detected two genetic-geographic regions, Pacific and Atlantic, probably due to interruption of the connection between the oceans during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), when several parts of the Magellanic Channel were connected to the continent. The Atlantic ocean colonies showed a slight differentiation between the northern and southern colonies, and the Falkand/Malvinas one seems to be a mix of northern, southern and Pacific colonies. Magellanic Penguins showed intense gene flown among colonies, and exhibited low levels of genetic differentiation in each region. Furthermore, our findings indicate that the Magellanic Penguin experienced a population expansion around 17,500 years ago, which is in agreement with the timing of a decreased sea level and the exposure of the continental shelf along the coast of Argentina and the Falkland/Malvinas Islands at the end of the LGM. Thus, our results suggest that climate changes that affect the sea level in South America can play important roles in the migration of Magellanic Penguins.