Genetic variation in the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

Joseph D. Busch, Mark P. Miller, Eben H. Paxton, Mark K. Sogge, Paul S Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) is an endangered Neotropical migrant that breeds in isolated remnants of dense riparian habitat in the South-western United States. We estimated genetic variation at 20 breeding sites of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (290 individuals) using 38 amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). Our results suggest that considerable genetic diversity exists within the subspecies and within local breeding sites. Statistical analyses of genetic variation revealed only slight, although significant, differentiation among breeding sites (Mantel's r = 0.0705, P < 0.0005; θ = 0.0816, 95% CI = 0.0608 to 0.1034; Φ(st) = 0.0458, P < 0.001). UPGMA cluster analysis of the AFLP markers indicates that extensive gene flow has occurred among breeding sites. No one site stood out as being genetically unique or isolated. Therefore, the small level of genetic structure that we detected may not be biologically significant. Ongoing field studies are consistent with this conclusion. Of the banded birds that were resighted or recaptured in Arizona during the 1996 to 1998 breeding seasons, one-third moved between breeding sites and two-thirds were philopatric. Low differentiation may be the result of historically high rangewide diversity followed by recent geographic isolation of breeding sites, although observational data indicate that gene flow is a current phenomenon. Our data suggest that breeding groups of E. t. extimus act as a metapopulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-595
Number of pages10
JournalAuk
Volume117
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2000

Fingerprint

breeding site
breeding sites
genetic variation
amplified fragment length polymorphism
gene flow
polymorphism
Southwestern United States
metapopulation
breeding season
genetic structure
subspecies
cluster analysis
Empidonax trailii extimus
breeding
bird
breeds
birds
habitat
habitats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Busch, J. D., Miller, M. P., Paxton, E. H., Sogge, M. K., & Keim, P. S. (2000). Genetic variation in the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Auk, 117(3), 586-595.

Genetic variation in the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. / Busch, Joseph D.; Miller, Mark P.; Paxton, Eben H.; Sogge, Mark K.; Keim, Paul S.

In: Auk, Vol. 117, No. 3, 07.2000, p. 586-595.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Busch, JD, Miller, MP, Paxton, EH, Sogge, MK & Keim, PS 2000, 'Genetic variation in the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher', Auk, vol. 117, no. 3, pp. 586-595.
Busch JD, Miller MP, Paxton EH, Sogge MK, Keim PS. Genetic variation in the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Auk. 2000 Jul;117(3):586-595.
Busch, Joseph D. ; Miller, Mark P. ; Paxton, Eben H. ; Sogge, Mark K. ; Keim, Paul S. / Genetic variation in the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. In: Auk. 2000 ; Vol. 117, No. 3. pp. 586-595.
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