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Low Genic Variation between Black Ducks and Mallards

C. Davison Ankney, Darrell G. Dennis, Lisa N. Wishard and James E. Seeb
The Auk
Vol. 103, No. 4 (Oct., 1986), pp. 701-709
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4087181
Page Count: 9
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Low Genic Variation between Black Ducks and Mallards
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Abstract

We used allozyme electrophoresis to estimate the degree of genetic differentiation among allopatric and sympatric populations of American Black Ducks (Anas rubripes) and Mallards (A. platyrhynchos). Mallards were collected in California, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, and Black Ducks were collected in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. The mean genetic distances, D̄, between Black Duck populations (0.0007), between Mallard populations (0.0010), and between Mallard and Black Duck populations (0.0006) were virtually identical; there was as much genetic differentiation within the two species as there was between them. Such small genetic distances are characteristic of local populations of avian species in other orders, and are consistent with what is known about the lack of reproductive isolation between Black Ducks and Mallards. Although the two taxa are still somewhat split on an east-west basis, our genetic data do not support even subspecific status for the Black Duck.

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