Genomic variation, population history and within-archipelago adaptation between island bird populations

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Oceanic island archipelagos provide excellent models to understand evolutionary processes. Colonisation events and gene flow can interact with selection to shape genetic variation at different spatial scales. Landscape-scale variation in biotic and abiotic factors may drive fine-scale selection within islands, while long-term evolutionary processes may drive divergence between distantly related populations. Here, we examine patterns of population history and selection between recently diverged populations of the Berthelot’s pipit (Anthus berthelotii), a passerine endemic to three North Atlantic archipelagos. First we use demographic trees and f3 statistics to show that genome-wide divergence across the species range is largely shaped by colonisation and bottlenecks, with evidence of very weak gene flow between populations. Then, using a genome scan approach, we identify signatures of divergent selection within-archipelagos at SNPs in genes potentially associated with craniofacial development and DNA repair. We did not detect within-archipelago selection at the same SNPs as were detected previously at broader spatial scales between archipelagos, but did identify signatures of selection at loci associated with similar biological functions. These findings suggest that similar ecological factors may repeatedly drive selection between recently separated populations, as well as at broad spatial scales across varied landscapes.


Original languageEnglish
Article number201146
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number2
Early online date3 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


    Research areas

  • adaptation, population genetics, colonisation history, birds, genome scan, spatial scales

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