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Phenotypic variation of Forest Thrushes Turdus lherminieri in Guadeloupe: evidence for geographic differentiation at fine spatial scale.

Abstract : Spatial differentiation in avian models has been extensively studied at a coarse scale for both theoretical and conservation purposes. Yet, studies at a finer spatial scale are also particularly relevant in birds because their dispersal ability may be much more reduced than expected. In the Forest Thrush Turdus lherminieri, we studied morphological characters commonly used to assess differentiation because they mirror both demographic and selective processes. The Forest Thrush is an endemic and vulnerable Antillean bird species which has dramatically declined in the last 15 years, and whose population functioning and structure remain unknown. We compared birds from 11 sites in Guadeloupe, which were distributed from 2 to 42 km apart over the two main geographic zones of the island (i.e. Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre). Using two synthetic descriptors (for body size and feather size), we detected a strong micro-geographic differentiation between Forest thrush populations for the body-size descriptor but not for the feather-size descriptor. Both males and females were significantly larger in Basse-Terre than in Grande- Terre despite the fine geographic scale. Several hypotheses could explain these results: (i) geographic isolation and differentiation caused by (1)absence of gene flow, (2) phenotypic plasticity, or (3) divergence with gene flow. Although further investigation is needed to identify the exact process generating phenotypic divergence, our study provides a first highlight to the high local variability of this species.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00872001
Contributor : Rémi Laffont Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, October 11, 2013 - 10:25:11 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 3:35:03 AM

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Emilie Arnoux, Cyril Eraud, Alban Thomas, François Cavallo, Stéphane Garnier, et al.. Phenotypic variation of Forest Thrushes Turdus lherminieri in Guadeloupe: evidence for geographic differentiation at fine spatial scale.. Journal für Ornithologie = Journal of Ornithology, Springer Verlag, 2013, 154 (4), pp.977-985. ⟨10.1007/s10336-013-0965-0⟩. ⟨hal-00872001⟩

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