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Sea surface temperature, rather than land mass or geographical distance, may drive genetic differentiation in a species complex of highly-dispersive seabirds
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  • Lucas Torres,
  • Eric Pante,
  • Jacob González-Solís,
  • Amelia Viricel ,
  • Cecile Ribout,
  • Frank Zino,
  • Will MacKin,
  • Carine Precheur,
  • Julie Tourmetz,
  • Licia Calabrese,
  • Teresa Militão,
  • Laura Zango,
  • Hadoram Shirihai,
  • Vincent Bretagnolle
Lucas Torres
CEBC
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Eric Pante
LIENSs
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Jacob González-Solís
University of Barcelona
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Amelia Viricel
LIENSs
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Cecile Ribout
CEBC
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Frank Zino
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Will MacKin
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Carine Precheur
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Julie Tourmetz
SEOR
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Licia Calabrese
Island Conservation Society
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Teresa Militão
Universitat de Barcelona
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Laura Zango
University of Barcelona
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Hadoram Shirihai
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Vincent Bretagnolle
CEBC
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Abstract

Seabirds, particularly Procellariiformes, are highly mobile organisms with a great capacity for long dispersal, though simultaneously showing high philopatry, two conflicting characteristics that may lead to contrasted patterns of genetic population structure. Landmasses were suggested to explain differentiation patterns observed in seabirds, but philopatry, isolation-by-distance, segregation between breeding and non-breeding zones, and oceanographic conditions (sea surface temperatures) may also contribute to differentiation patterns. No study has simultaneously contrasted the multiple factors contributing to the diversification of seabird species, especially in the grey zone of speciation. We conducted a multi-locus phylogeographic study on a widespread shearwater species complex (Puffinus lherminieri/bailloni), showing highly homogeneous morphology. We sequenced three mitochondrial and six nuclear markers on all extant populations (five nominal lineages, 13 populations). We found sharp differentiation among populations separated by the African continent with both mitochondrial and nuclear markers, while only mitochondrial markers allowed characterizing the five nominal lineages. No differentiation could be detected within these five lineages, questioning the strong level of philopatry showed by these shearwaters. Finally, we propose that Atlantic populations likely originated from the Indian Ocean. Within the Atlantic, a stepping-stone process accounts for the current distribution. Based on our divergence times estimates, we suggest that the observed pattern of differentiation mostly resulted from variation in sea surface temperatures.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

16 Jul 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
17 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
17 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed
31 Jul 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
12 Feb 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 Feb 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor