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Comparative Population Structure and Gene Flow of a Brood Parasite, The Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius), and Its Primary Host, the Magpie (Pica pica)

J. G. Martinez, J. J. Soler, M. Soler, A. P. Moller and T. Burke
Evolution
Vol. 53, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 269-278
DOI: 10.2307/2640939
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640939
Page Count: 10
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Comparative Population Structure and Gene Flow of a Brood Parasite, The Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius), and Its Primary Host, the Magpie (Pica pica)
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Abstract

The amount of gene flow is an important determinant of population structure and therefore of central importance for understanding coevolutionary processes. We used microsatellite markers to estimate population structure and gene flow rates of the great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) and its main host in Europe, the magpie (Pica pica), in a number of populations (seven and 15, respectively) across their distribution range in Europe. The genetic analysis shows that there exists a pattern of isolation by distance in both species, although the cuckoo data are only indicative due to a small sample size. Gene flow seems to be extensive between nearby populations, higher for magpies than cuckoos, and especially high for magpie populations within the area of distribution of the great spotted cuckoo. There is no correlation between genetic distances between magpie populations and genetic distances between cuckoo populations. We discuss the implications of extensive gene flow between magpie populations in sympatry with cuckoos for the population dynamics of hosts, in particular for the occurrence of egg rejection behavior in host populations and how the different rates of migration for both species can affect the dynamics of coevolutionary processes.

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