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The Historical Pattern of Gene Flow among Migratory and Nonmigratory Populations of Prairie Warblers (Aves: Parulinae)
C. Alex Buerkle
Vol. 53, No. 6 (Dec., 1999), pp. 1915-1924
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640450
Page Count: 10
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Within a group of interbreeding organisms, the balance of gene flow among populations and microevolutionary forces acting within populations is expected to result in clinal transitions in the phenotypes possessed by members of differentiated populations. Discontinuous variation between geographically adjacent populations suggests the presence of a significant barrier to gene flow. Here I present genetic evidence for restricted gene flow between migratory and nonmigratory populations of prairie warblers. The nonmigratory form of this species is restricted to coastal mangroves in Florida and is morphologically distinguishable from the typical, migratory form that occurs across the remainder of the eastern United States. Pairs of migratory populations exhibited little population subdivision (ΦST ≤ 0.09), whereas pairs of migratory and nonmigratory populations are much more differentiated (ΦST = 0.27-0.42). A phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes did not offer evidence of long-term isolation of migratory and nonmigratory populations. Together with the population genetic analysis, the phylogenetic relationship of haplotypes suggests that isolation between these forms must have arisen relatively recently in their history. Evidence for significant population structure is unexpected, given the geographic proximity of migratory and nonmigratory populations, the capacity for long-distance movements (e.g., migration) by prairie warblers, and several previous studies of population structure in North American birds. However, the findings are consistent with the geographic distribution of morphological and behavioral variation and demonstrate that significant boundaries between populations of vagile organisms may be relatively cryptic.
Evolution © 1999 Society for the Study of Evolution