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1 July 2011 Population Genetics of a Recent Transcontinental Colonization of South America by Breeding Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica)
Shawn M. Billerman, Gernot H. Huber, David W. Winkler, Rebecca J. Safran, Irby J. Lovette
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Abstract

The natural range extension and colonization of a new continent by a bird species is rare, and even more rarely is it observed and documented. In 1980, six pairs of Barn Swallows were found breeding in Argentina within the species' historical wintering range, and this South American population has since grown to thousands of pairs. We explored the genetic context and consequences of this natural trans-hemispheric colonization event via comparisons among the South American population and two North American populations. We tested for evidence of a genetic founder event by assessing allelic diversity at eight microsatellite loci and haplotype diversity of mitochondrial ND2 sequences. Contrary to our expectations, the recently established South American breeding population showed no evidence of a founder effect, with no difference in heterozygosity, allelic diversity, haplotype diversity, or population differentiation in comparison to the large North American populations. The genetic similarity of these populations suggests that this long-distance colonization event was not associated with a strong demographic bottleneck, perhaps because the South American population has been augmented by ongoing immigration from North America.

© 2011 by The American Ornithologists' Union. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions website, http://www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintInfo.asp.
Shawn M. Billerman, Gernot H. Huber, David W. Winkler, Rebecca J. Safran, and Irby J. Lovette "Population Genetics of a Recent Transcontinental Colonization of South America by Breeding Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica)," The Auk 128(3), 506-513, (1 July 2011). https://doi.org/10.1525/auk.2011.10252
Received: 3 November 2010; Accepted: 3 May 2011; Published: 1 July 2011
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KEYWORDS
barn swallow
colonization
founder event
Hirundo rustica
microsatellite
population bottleneck
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