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The spatial genetic structure of the White‐banded Tanager (Aves, Passeriformes) in fragmented Neotropical savannas suggests two evolutionarily significant units

Lima‐Rezende, Cássia Alves, de Souza, Renata Oliveira, Caparroz, Renato
Biotropica 2019 v.51 no.2 pp. 234-244
Passeriformes, adults, cerrado, ecosystems, evolutionary biology, genetic variation, habitat fragmentation, habitats, landscapes, microsatellite repeats, population genetics, population structure, savannas, Brazil
Understanding the genetic structure of a species is crucial for evolutionary biology research and species conservation. The objectives of this study were to investigate the genetic structure of Neothraupis fasciata in Brazilian savannas and to assess genetic differentiation of its disjunct population in the Amazonian savannas of the state of Amapá. Population genetic structure was assessed in relation to isolation by distance and landscape variables connected with habitat heterogeneity. The influences of factors, such as habitat fragmentation and core–periphery distribution, on genetic diversity were also examined. Data were derived from a set of microsatellite loci of adult individuals from nine localities: eight distributed across the Cerrado and one in the disjunct Amazonian savanna of Amapá. Analysis revealed moderate genetic diversity and moderate population genetic structure, with at least two genetic clusters, one of which is represented exclusively by the disjunct Amapá population. The genetic structure found is not the result of significant influences by geographical distance, habitat heterogeneity, or the core–periphery effect, nor by intense biome fragmentation due to anthropic action. The disjunct Amapá population exhibited a moderate level of genetic differentiation compared to the Cerrado population, suggesting that both can be considered distinct evolutionarily significant units for conservation purposes. Abstract in Portuguese is available with online material.