Exploring dispersal barriers using landscape genetic resistance modelling in scarlet macaws of the Peruvian Amazon

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: Exploring dispersal barriers using landscape genetic resistance modelling in scarlet macaws of the Peruvian Amazon

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Title
Exploring dispersal barriers using landscape genetic resistance modelling in scarlet macaws of the Peruvian Amazon
Author
Contributors
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CC Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 3.0 Germany:
You are free to use, copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in unchanged form for any legal and non-commercial purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
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Publisher
Release Date
2016
Language
English
Producer
Olah, George
Molnár, Attila Dávid
Production Place
Canberra, Australia

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Subject Area
Abstract
Context: Dispersal is essential for species persistence and landscape genetic studies are valuable tools for identifying potential barriers to dispersal. Macaws have been studied for decades in their natural habitat, but we still have no knowledge of how natural landscape features influence their dispersal. Objectives We tested for correlations between landscape resistance models and the current population genetic structure of macaws in continuous rainforest to explore natural barriers to their dispersal. Methods We studied scarlet macaws (Ara macao) over a 13,000 km2 area of continuous primary Amazon rainforest in south-eastern Peru. Using remote sensing imagery from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, we constructed landscape resistance surfaces in CIRCUITSCAPE based on elevation, canopy height and above-ground carbon distribution. We then used individual- and population-level genetic analyses to examine which landscape features influenced gene flow (genetic distance between individuals and populations). Results Across the lowland rainforest we found limited population genetic differentiation. However, a population from an intermountain valley of the Andes (Candamo) showed detectable genetic differentiation from two other populations (Tambopata) located 20–60 km away (F ST = 0.008, P = 0.001–0.003). Landscape resistance models revealed that genetic distance between individuals was significantly positively related to elevation. Conclusions Our landscape resistance analysis suggests that mountain ridges between Candamo and Tambopata may limit gene flow in scarlet macaws. These results serve as baseline data for continued landscape studies of parrots, and will be useful for understanding the impacts of anthropogenic dispersal barriers in the future.
Keywords macaws landscape genetics conservation Peru Amazon remote sensing population genetics dispersal movement ecology feathers microsatellites Neotropics Andes barriers LiDAR
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