Microsatellite variation in the yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella : population structure of a declining farmland bird

Lee, Patricia L.M., Bradbury, Richard B., Wilson, Jeremy D., Flanagan, Nicola S., Richardson, Lynne, Perkins, Allan J. and Krebs, John R. 2001, Microsatellite variation in the yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella : population structure of a declining farmland bird, Molecular ecology, vol. 10, no. 7, pp. 1633-1644, doi: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2001.01305.x.

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Title Microsatellite variation in the yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella : population structure of a declining farmland bird
Author(s) Lee, Patricia L.M.ORCID iD for Lee, Patricia L.M. orcid.org/0000-0002-8489-9206
Bradbury, Richard B.
Wilson, Jeremy D.
Flanagan, Nicola S.
Richardson, Lynne
Perkins, Allan J.
Krebs, John R.
Journal name Molecular ecology
Volume number 10
Issue number 7
Start page 1633
End page 1644
Total pages 12
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2001-07
ISSN 0962-1083
Keyword(s) Aves
genetic distance
heterozygote excess
isolation by distance
population decline
Summary In recent years, there has been much concern in the UK about population declines of widespread species in agricultural habitats. Conservation-orientated research on declining birds has focused on vital rates of survival and productivity. However, the environmental factors which may influence movements between populations of widespread species is poorly understood. Population genetic structure is an indirect description of dispersal between groups of individuals. To attempt to develop an understanding of genetic structuring in a widespread, but declining, farmland bird, we therefore investigated the yellowhammer, Emberiza citrinella, population in England and Wales using microsatellite data. Our first aim was to investigate whether there was genetic substructuring in the population. A second aim was to investigate if there was a relationship between genetic distances and various environmental variables. Finally, we analysed the microsatellite data for evidence of loss of genetic variation due to population decline. Our data showed a slight but significant structure within the yellowhammer population. This therefore cannot be considered a panmictic population. Our example from South Cumbria implies that high-altitude barriers may have a slight influence on population structure. However, on the whole, genetic distances between sample sites were not significantly correlated with geographical distances, degrees of population connectivity, high altitudes, or differences in precipitation between sites. Finally, we detected departures from mutation-drift equilibrium (excess heterozygosity), which is indicative of a loss of genetic variation through recent decline.
Language eng
DOI 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2001.01305.x
Field of Research 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
060207 Population Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30056227

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