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Population structure in the barn swallow, Hirundo rustica: a comparison between neutral DNA markers and quantitative traits

Authors

  • ANNA W. SANTURE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London NW1 4RY, UK
    2. Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
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  • JOHN G. EWEN,

    1. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London NW1 4RY, UK
    2. Laboratoire de Parasitologie Evolutive, CNRS UMR 7103, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, F-75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
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  • DELPHINE SICARD,

    1. UMR de Génétique Végétale, INRA/UPS/CNRS/INA-PG, Ferme du Moulon, F-91190 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
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  • DEREK A. ROFF,

    1. Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
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  • ANDERS P. MØLLER

    1. Laboratoire de Parasitologie Evolutive, CNRS UMR 7103, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, F-75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
    2. Center for Advanced Study, Drammensveien 78, NO-0271 Oslo, Norway
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E-mail: asanture@gmail.com

Abstract

Local adaptation to variable environments can generate clinal variation in morphological traits. Alternatively, similar patterns of clinal variation may be generated simply as a result of genetic drift/migration balance. Teasing apart these different processes is a continuing focus in evolutionary ecology. We compare genetic differentiation at molecular loci and quantitative traits to analyse the effect of these different processes in a morphological latitudinal cline of the barn swallow, Hirundo rustica, breeding across Europe. The results obtained show no structuring at neutral microsatellite loci, which contrasts with positive structuring at five quantitative morphometric traits. This supports the hypothesis that the observed morphometric cline in barn swallows is the result of selection acting in a spatially heterogeneous environment.  © 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 99, 306–314.

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