Low but contrasting neutral genetic differentiation shaped by winter temperature in European great tits.

M. Lemoine, K. Lucek, C. Perrier, V. Saladin, F. Adriaensen, E. Barba, E.J. Belda, A. Charmantier, M. Cichoń, T. Eeva, A. Grégoire, C.A. Hinde, A. Johnsen, J. Komdeur, R. Mänd, E. Matthysen, A.C. Norte, N. Pitala, B.C. Sheldon, T. SlagsvoldJ.M. Tinbergen, J. Török, R. Ubels, K. van Oers, M.E. Visser, Blandine Doligez, Heinz Richner

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review

103 Downloads (Pure)


Gene flow is usually thought to reduce genetic divergence and impede local adaptation by homogenising gene pools between populations. However, evidence for local adaptation and phenotypic differentiation in highly mobile species, experiencing high levels of gene flow, is emerging. Assessing population genetic structure at different spatial scales is thus a crucial step towards understanding mechanisms underlying intraspecific differentiation and diversification. Here, we studied the population genetic structure of a highly mobile species – the great tit Parus major – at different spatial scales. We analysed 884 individuals from 30 sites across Europe including 10 close-by sites (< 50 km), using 22 microsatellite markers. Overall we found a low but significant genetic differentiation among sites (FST = 0.008). Genetic differentiation was higher, and genetic diversity lower, in south-western Europe. These regional differences were statistically best explained by winter temperature. Overall, our results suggest that great tits form a single patchy metapopulation across Europe, in which genetic differentiation is independent of geographical distance and gene flow may be regulated by environmental factors via movements related to winter severity. This might have important implications for the evolutionary trajectories of sub-populations, especially in the context of climate change, and calls for future investigations of local differences in costs and benefits of philopatry at large scales.
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)668-685
TijdschriftBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
Vroegere onlinedatum05 feb. 2016
StatusGepubliceerd - 19 mei 2016


Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'Low but contrasting neutral genetic differentiation shaped by winter temperature in European great tits.'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit