Phylogenetic Relationships in Pterodroma Petrels Are Obscured by Recent Secondary Contact and HybridizationReport as inadecuate




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The classification of petrels Pterodroma spp. from Round Island, near Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, has confounded researchers since their discovery in 1948. In this study we investigate the relationships between Round Island petrels and their closest relatives using evidence from mitochondrial DNA sequence data and ectoparasites. Far from providing clear delimitation of species boundaries, our results reveal that hybridization among species on Round Island has led to genetic leakage between populations from different ocean basins. The most common species on the island, Pterodroma arminjoniana, appears to be hybridizing with two rarer species P. heraldica and P. neglecta, subverting the reproductive isolation of all three and allowing gene flow. P. heraldica and P. neglecta breed sympatrically in the Pacific Ocean, where P. arminjoniana is absent, but no record of hybridization between these two exists and they remain phenotypically distinct. The breakdown of species boundaries in Round Island petrels followed environmental change deforestation and changes in species composition due to hunting within their overlapping ranges. Such multi-species interactions have implications not only for conservation, but also for our understanding of the processes of evolutionary diversification and speciation.



Author: Ruth M. Brown , William C. Jordan, Chris G. Faulkes, Carl G. Jones, Leandro Bugoni, Vikash Tatayah, Ricardo L. Palma, Richard A.

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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