Genetic structure among continental and island populations of gyrfalcons

  title={Genetic structure among continental and island populations of gyrfalcons},
  author={Jeff A. Johnson and Kurt K Burnham and William A. Burnham and David P. Mindell},
  journal={Molecular Ecology},
Little is known about the possible influence that past glacial events have had on the phylogeography and population structure of avian predators in the Arctic and sub‐Arctic. In this study, we use microsatellite and mitochondrial control region DNA variation to investigate the population genetic structure of gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) throughout a large portion of their circumpolar distribution. In most locations sampled, the mtDNA data revealed little geographic structure; however, five out… 

Population Differentiation and Adaptive Selection on Plumage Color Distributions in Gyrfalcons.

A significant geographic pattern exists relative to plumage color, and its distribution is supported by genetics, which has important implications regarding a population’s response to its environment and climate; however, ultimate mechanisms remain equivocal and require further study.

Intraspecific evolutionary relationships among peregrine falcons in western North American high latitudes

It is suggested that peregrine falcons occupying habitats in Alaska and the North Pacific coast of North America belong to two distinct regional groupings–a coastal grouping (pealei) and a boreal/Arctic grouping (currently anatum and tundrius)–each comprised of discrete populations that are variously intra-regionally connected.

Evidence for gene flow differs from observed dispersal patterns in the Humboldt penguin, Spheniscus humboldti

The Humboldt penguin, once common throughout its range, is today listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Mark-recapture and telemetry studies indicate that adult Humboldt penguins are sedentary, suggesting

Mitochondrial DNA under siege in avian phylogeography

A review of the recent literature on birds reveals the existence of relatively few cases in which nuclear markers contradict mitochondrial markers in a fashion not consistent with coalescent theory, which suggests that mtDNA patterns will prove to be robust indicators of patterns of population history and species limits.

Nest-Site Fidelity and Dispersal of Gyrfalcons Estimated by Noninvasive Genetic Sampling

These data are the first published on the nest-site fidelity, breeding dispersal, and natal dispersal of the Gyrfalcon in North America and demonstrate the utility of noninvasive genetic sampling to greatly improve the understanding of avian dispersal and its underlying mechanisms.

Genetic Diversity of the Chukotka–Kamchatka Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus, Falconiformes, Falconidae) Population, Based on an Analysis of Nuclear Microsatellite Loci

The main genetic characteristics of the Kamchatka–Chukotka gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) population are identified using nine nuclear microsatellite loci, which comprises most of the genetic diversity of the species.

Genetics of plumage color in the Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus): analysis of the melanocortin-1 receptor gene.

It is shown that the white/melanic color pattern observed in Gyrfalcons is explained by allelic variation at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), providing strong support that MC1R is associated with plumage color in this species.

Exonic versus intronic SNPs: contrasting roles in revealing the population genetic differentiation of a widespread bird species

This work highlights the importance of functional exonic SNPs for studying population genetic pattern in a widespread avian species and examines population genetic differentiation in the saker falcon across Eurasia.

A multilocus study of pine grosbeak phylogeography supports the pattern of greater intercontinental divergence in Holarctic boreal forest birds than in birds inhabiting other high‐latitude habitats

This study tests the pattern of intercontinental divergence and colonization in another Holarctic boreal forest resident – the pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator).

Spatial size dimorphism in New Zealand's last endemic raptor, the Kārearea Falco novaeseelandiae, coincides with a narrow sea strait

Strong evidence is found using linear modelling and Bayesian clustering for two distinct sizes within Kārearea, in addition to the recognized sexual dimorphism, which suggests adaptive change along a stepped environmental cline is proceeding despite gene flow.



Genetic structure of the world’s polar bear populations

It is suggested that the observed pattern of genetic discontinuities has developed in response to differences in the seasonal distribution and pattern of sea ice habitat and the effects of these differences on the distribution and abundance of seals.


Phylogeographic analyses of arctic organisms provide spatial and temporal frameworks for interpreting the role of climate change on biotic diversity in high-latitude ecosystems and the finding of a Beringian clade corroborates previous studies identifying Beringia as a refugium.

Post-glacial re-colonization of European biota

A reduction in diversity from southern to northern Europe in the extent of allelic variation and species subdivision is seen; this is attributed to rapid expansion northward and the varied topography of southern refugia allowing populations to diverge through several ice ages.

Lack of phylogeography in European mammals before the last glaciation.

  • M. HofreiterD. Serre S. Pääbo
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2004
It is suggested that at the beginning of the last glacial maximum, little phylogeographic patterns existed in European mammals over most of their geographical ranges and that current phyloGeographic patterns are transient relics of thelast glaciation.


It is concluded that Dunlin populations were not severely reduced in size in the last 200 000 years, and major lineages have differentiated under restricted gene flow for a much longer time than knots.

Population structure and gene flow of the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in the eastern Atlantic Arctic based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite variation

Gene flow estimates among the four areas indicated a very restricted exchange of female genes between NW Greenland and the more eastern Atlantic Arctic samples, and a closer relationship between the three samples composing theEastern Atlantic Arctic.

Hares on ice: phylogeography and historical demographics of Lepus arcticus, L. othus, and L. timidus (Mammalia: Lagomorpha)

Historical demographic estimates for 12 arctic hare populations from throughout their range indicate that L. arcticus and L. othus persisted in two separate North American arctic refugia during glacial advances of the Pleistocene, while the high genetic diversity in L. timidus likely reflects multiple Eurasian refugias.

Colonization history of the high‐arctic pink‐footed goose Anser brachyrhynchus

Estimates of the long‐term female effective population size imply that the refugial population of the pink‐footed goose has been large, and suggest that the latter was colonized by a subset of eastern birds.


The results are most consistent with the hypothesis that isolated populations of rock ptarmigan diverged in multiple refugia during the Wisconsin glaciation and that geographic variation reflects patterns of recolonization of the Nearctic after the ice receded.