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Immigration and the ephemerality of a natural population bottleneck: evidence from molecular markers


Keller, L F; Jeffery, K J; Arcese, P; Beaumont, M A; Hochachka, W M; Smith, J N M; Bruford, M W (2001). Immigration and the ephemerality of a natural population bottleneck: evidence from molecular markers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 268(1474):1387-1394.

Abstract

Population bottlenecks are often linked to explain low levels of genetic variation in natural populations, yet few studies have documented the direct genetic consequences of known bottlenecks in the wild. Empirical studies of natural population bottlenecks are therefore needed, because key assumptions of theoretical and laboratory studies of bottlenecks may not hold in the wild. Here we present microsatellite data fr om a severe bottleneck (95% mortality) in an insular population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). The major findings of our study are as follows: (i) The bottleneck reduced heterozygosity and allelic diversity nearly to neutral expectations, despite non-random survival of birds with respect to inbreeding and wing length. (ii) All measures of genetic diversity regained pre-bottleneck levels within two to three years of the crash. This rapid recovery was due to low levels of immigration. (iii) The rapid recovery occurred despite a coincident, strong increase in average inbreeding. These results show that immigration at levels that are hard to measure in most field studies can lead to qualitatively very different and genetic outcomes from those expected from mutations only. We suggest that future thee empirical work on bottlenecks and metapopulations should address the impact of immigration.

Abstract

Population bottlenecks are often linked to explain low levels of genetic variation in natural populations, yet few studies have documented the direct genetic consequences of known bottlenecks in the wild. Empirical studies of natural population bottlenecks are therefore needed, because key assumptions of theoretical and laboratory studies of bottlenecks may not hold in the wild. Here we present microsatellite data fr om a severe bottleneck (95% mortality) in an insular population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). The major findings of our study are as follows: (i) The bottleneck reduced heterozygosity and allelic diversity nearly to neutral expectations, despite non-random survival of birds with respect to inbreeding and wing length. (ii) All measures of genetic diversity regained pre-bottleneck levels within two to three years of the crash. This rapid recovery was due to low levels of immigration. (iii) The rapid recovery occurred despite a coincident, strong increase in average inbreeding. These results show that immigration at levels that are hard to measure in most field studies can lead to qualitatively very different and genetic outcomes from those expected from mutations only. We suggest that future thee empirical work on bottlenecks and metapopulations should address the impact of immigration.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:July 2001
Deposited On:30 Apr 2012 08:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:17
Publisher:Royal Society of London
ISSN:0962-8452
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2001.1607
Other Identification Number:ISI:000169865400010

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