Genetic structure of a patchily distributed philopatric migrant: implications for management and conservation

Maurizio Sara', Airam Rodríguez, Dimitris Tsaparis, Gradimir Gradev, Kresimir Mikulic, Anastasios Bounas, Ron Efrat, Konstantinos Sotiropoulos, Georgios Kotoulas, Marco Gustin

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Abstract

Significant demographic fluctuations can have major genetic consequences in wild populations. The lesser kestrel(Falco naumanni) has suffered both population declines and range fragmentation during the second half of the 20century. In this study we analysed multilocus microsatellite data to assess the genetic structure of the species. Ouranalysis revealed significant genetic structuring of lesser kestrel populations, not only at the cross-continental scale,but also regionally within the Central and Eastern (CE) Mediterranean region. We detected signs of genetic bottlenecksin some of the peripheral populations coupled with small effective population sizes. Values of genetic differentiationamong the largest populations were low, albeit significant, whereas the small peripheral CE Mediterranean populationsshowed higher levels of differentiation from all other populations. Gene flow levels were relatively low among thediscontinuouslydistributedpopulationsoftheCEMediterraneanregion.Wearguethattheobservedspatialgenetic structure can be attributed at some level to the past demographic declineexperienced by the species.Finally,weidentifymanagementunitsintheregion,andinformthedesignofconservationactionsaimedattheincreaseof population sizes and dispersal rates among peripheral populations.th
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)633-644
Numero di pagine12
RivistaBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume124
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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Sara', M., Rodríguez, A., Tsaparis, D., Gradev, G., Mikulic, K., Bounas, A., Efrat, R., Sotiropoulos, K., Kotoulas, G., & Gustin, M. (2018). Genetic structure of a patchily distributed philopatric migrant: implications for management and conservation. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 124, 633-644.