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Genetic characterization of Common Eiders breeding in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

January 1, 2007

We assessed population genetic subdivision among four colonies of Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima v-nigrum) breeding in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD), Alaska, using microsatellite genotypes and DNA sequences with differing modes of inheritance. Significant, albeit low, levels of genetic differentiation were observed between mainland populations and Kigigak Island for nuclear intron lamin A and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region. Intercolony variation in haplotypic frequencies also was observed at mtDNA. Positive growth signatures assayed from microsatellites, nuclear introns, and mtDNA indicate recent colonization of the YKD, and may explain the low levels of structuring observed. Gene flow estimates based on microsatellites, nuclear introns, and mtDNA suggest asymmetrical gene flow between mainland colonies and Kigigak Island, with more individuals on average dispersing from mainland populations to Kigigak Island than vice versa. The directionality of gene flow observed may be explained by the colonization of the YKD from northern glacial refugia or by YKD metapopulation dynamics.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2007
Title Genetic characterization of Common Eiders breeding in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska
DOI 10.1650/0010-5422(2007)109[878:GCOCEB]2.0.CO;2
Authors Sarah A. Sonsthagen, Sandra L. Talbot, Kevin G. McCracken
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title The Condor
Index ID 70029791
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center, Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB

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