Living on the edge: genetic structure and geographic distribution in the threatened Markham's Storm-Petrel (Hydrobates markhami)
Migratory birds are threatened by habitat loss and degradation, illegal killings, ineffective conservation policies, knowledge gaps and climate change. These threats are particularly troubling in the Procellariiformes (Aves), one of the most endangered bird groups. For "storm-petrels", their cryptic breeding behavior, asynchrony between populations, and light pollution pose additional threats that contribute to increased mortality.Markham's Storm-Petrel (Hydrobates markhami), a poorly known migratory species, is a pelagic bird that breeds in dispersed colonies in the Sechura and Atacama Deserts, with asynchronous reproduction between colonies, and is highly affected by artificial lights. Considering its complex conservation scenario and singular breeding, we expected to find narrow habitat distribution conditions, strong geographic genetic structure, and spatially differentiation related to human population activities (e.g., light pollution) and the climate global change. To evaluate these predictions, we analyzed the phylogeography, current and future potential distribution based on mitochondrial gene ND1 and geographic records.The phylogeographic analyses revealed three well-supported clades (i.e., Paracas, Arica, and Salar Grande), and the geographical distribution modeled using an intrinsic conditional model (iCAR) suggests a positive relationship with the mean temperature of the wettest quarter and of the driest quarter, solar radiation, and anthropogenic disturbance. The future predictions under moderate and severe scenarios of global change indicated a drastic distribution area reduction, especially in the southern zone around Tarapaca and Antofagasta in Chile. These suggest a potential loss of unique genetic diversity and the need for conservation actions particularly focused at the edges of the H. markhami distribution.
|Título según WOS:||Living on the edge: genetic structure and geographic distribution in the threatened Markham's Storm-Petrel (Hydrobates markhami)|
|Título de la Revista:||PEERJ|
|Fecha de publicación:||2021|