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Complete genomes of two extinct New Zealand passerines show responses to climate fluctuations but no evidence for genomic erosion prior to extinction
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics. (Love Dalén)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9179-8593
2019 (English)In: Biology LettersArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Human intervention, pre-human climate change (or a combination of both), as well as genetic effects, contribute to species extinctions. While many species from oceanic islands have gone extinct due to direct human impacts, the effects of pre-human climate change and human settlement on the geno- mic diversity of insular species and the role that loss of genomic diversity played in their extinctions remains largely unexplored. To address this ques- tion, we sequenced whole genomes of two extinct New Zealand passerines, the huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) and South Island k"okako (Callaeas cinereus). Both species showed similar demographic trajectories throughout the Pleis- tocene. However, the South Island k"okako continued to decline after the last glaciation, while the huia experienced some recovery. Moreover, there was no indication of inbreeding resulting from recent mating among closely related individuals in either species. This latter result indicates that popu- lation fragmentation associated with forest clearing by Ma"ori may not have been strong enough to lead to an increase in inbreeding and exposure to genomic erosion. While genomic erosion may not have directly contribu- ted to their extinctions, further habitat fragmentation and the introduction of mammalian predators by Europeans may have been an important driver of extinction in huia and South Island k"okako.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, 2019.
Keywords [en]
genomic erosion, glaciations, decline, extinction
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3406DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0491OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3406DiVA, id: diva2:1372304
Available from: 2019-11-22 Created: 2019-11-22 Last updated: 2019-11-22

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