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Genetic diversity and dispersal distribution in the endangered Baltic Southern Dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Nelli Rönkä
Veli-Matti Pakanen
Angela Pauliny
Donald Blomqvist
Ole Thorup
Hannes Pehlak
Laura Kvist
Kari Koivula
Publicerad i International Wader Study Group Annual Conference, Haapsalu, Estonia, 26–29 September 2014. Wader Study Group Bulletin 2015, 121(3); 215.
Publiceringsår 2014
Publicerad vid Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap
Språk en
Länkar www.waderstudygroup.org/publication...
Ämneskategorier Genetik, Terrestrisk ekologi


Genetic analyses provide an indirect way of studying the state and development of populations. Besides obtaining information on the genetic variation per se, with genetics, one can gain knowledge of the behavior of the individuals, e.g. in the context of gene flow. Information on the genetic status and migration rates between subpopulations is important in order to evaluate the need for management and conservation actions aiming to maintain the genetic variation of the population and to ensure its viability. When the population is small, such as in the case of the Baltic Southern Dunlin, the lack of gene flow between local populations may lead to rapid genetic differentiation between them. If dispersal between the subpopulations exists, ensuring good and large enough breeding habitats is important e.g. to attract immigrants and thus help to keep the genetic variation of the populations at a sufficient level. Genetic variation forms the basis for evolutionary change – without it there is nothing natural selection can work on. In this study we examine the genetic variation, population differentiation and dispersal distribution within the Baltic Dunlin population by analyzing 13 microsatellite loci. We have samples from the Finnish Bothnian Bay, SW Finland, Estonia, S Sweden and Denmark. All the data have been collected and the laboratory work done, and the preliminary results already reveal the existence of private alleles, indicating at least some structuring. More than half of the wader species in the world are in decline, including the Baltic Southern Dunlin: classified as critically endangered in all of its breeding countries in the Baltic area, it is one of Europe’s most endangered wader populations. This work is important – besides having concrete implications for the conservation of the Baltic Dunlin, it will also provide basic knowledge which will aid authorities to plan conservation and management actions for endangered species in general.

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