Delimiting shades of gray: phylogeography of the Northern Fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis
Article first published online: 22 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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Ecology and Evolution
Volume 3, Issue 7, pages 1915–1930, July 2013
How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2013; 3(7): 1915–1930
- Issue published online: 10 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 22 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 APR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 12 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 7 MAR 2013
- Smithsonian post-doctoral fellowship
- DNA barcodes;
- MC1R ;
The Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) is a common tube-nosed seabird with a disjunct Holarctic range. Taxonomic divisions within the Northern Fulmar have historically been muddled by geographical variation notably including highly polymorphic plumage. Recent molecular analyses (i.e., DNA barcoding) have suggested that genetic divergence between Atlantic and Pacific populations could be on par with those typically observed between species. We employ a multigene phylogenetic analysis to better explore the level of genetic divergence between these populations and to test an old hypothesis on the origin of the modern distribution of color morphs across their range. Additionally, we test whether mutations in the melanocortin-1 receptor gene (MC1R) are associated with dark plumage in the Northern Fulmar. We confirmed that mitochondrial lineages in the Atlantic and Pacific populations are highly divergent, but nuclear markers revealed incomplete lineage sorting. Genetic divergence between these populations is consistent with that observed between many species of Procellariiformes and we recommend elevating these two forms to separate species. We also find that MC1R variation is not associated with color morph but rather is better explained by geographical divergence.