Long-term population decline of a genetically homogenous continental-wide top Arctic predator - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2022

Long-term population decline of a genetically homogenous continental-wide top Arctic predator

Marianne Gousy-Leblanc
Jean-François Therrien
Delphine Rioux
  • Function : Author
Nadine Curt-Grand-Gaudin
  • Function : Author
Nathalie Tissot
  • Function : Author
Sophie Tissot
  • Function : Author
Ildiko Szabo
  • Function : Author
Laurie Wilson
Jack Evans
  • Function : Author
Victoria Bowes
  • Function : Author
Gilles Gauthier
Karen Wiebe
  • Function : Author
Glenn Yannic
Nicolas Lecomte

Abstract

ABSTRACT Genetic analysis can provide valuable information for conservation programs by unraveling the demographic trajectory of populations, by estimating effective population size, or by inferring genetic differentiation between populations. Here, we investigated the genetic differentiation within the Snowy Owl ( Bubo scandiacus ), a species identified as vulnerable by the IUCN, to (i) quantify connectivity among wintering areas, (ii) to evaluate current genetic diversity and effective population size and (iii) to infer changes in the historical effective population size changes from the last millennia to the recent past. The Snowy Owl, a highly mobile top predator, breeds across the Arctic tundra which is a region especially sensitive to current climate change. Using SNP-based analyses on Snowy Owls sampled across the North American nonbreeding range, we found an absence of genetic differentiation among individuals located up to 4,650 km apart. Our results suggest high genetic intermixing and effective dispersal at the continental scale despite documented philopatry to nonbreeding sites in winter. Reconstructing the population demographic indicated that North American Snowy Owls have been steadily declining since the Last Glacial Maximum ca 20,000 years ago and concurrently with global increases in temperature. Conservation programs should now consider North American Snowy Owls as a single, genetically homogenous continental-wide population which is most likely sensitive to the long-term global warming occurring since the Last Glacial Maximum.

Dates and versions

hal-03898488 , version 1 (14-12-2022)

Identifiers

Cite

Marianne Gousy-Leblanc, Jean-François Therrien, Thomas Broquet, Delphine Rioux, Nadine Curt-Grand-Gaudin, et al.. Long-term population decline of a genetically homogenous continental-wide top Arctic predator. 2022. ⟨hal-03898488⟩
35 View
0 Download

Altmetric

Share

Gmail Mastodon Facebook X LinkedIn More