Abstract Title

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) Genetic Diversity and Connectivity among the Naturally Fragmented Forests of the Northern Great Basin, USA.

Disciplines

Genetics | Ornithology | Population Biology

Abstract

Forest fragmentation limits movement of individuals, and even highly mobile species, like birds, can fail to disperse across such landscapes. The naturally fragmented forests of the northern Great Basin are thought to have led to the evolution of unique species. Other species in these forests may also exhibit unique genetic diversity. The Northern Goshawk, a species occupying these forests, has shown low integration between geographically dispersed populations elsewhere in its range. We evaluated genetic diversity and connectivity of the goshawks in the northern Great Basin by extracting mitochondrial DNA and placing the birds in biogeographical context of other populations in the West. We utilized blood and feather samples from nestling and adult birds from five forest islands in south-central Idaho, as well as, the Owyhee Mountains in South West Idaho and Malheur National Forest in Eastern Oregon to compare mitochondrial DNA sequences among individuals. Our work provides a continuation of understanding the genetic ecology of Goshawks in the northern Great Basin, and the genetic health and integration of these birds compared with other populations.

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Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) Genetic Diversity and Connectivity among the Naturally Fragmented Forests of the Northern Great Basin, USA.

Forest fragmentation limits movement of individuals, and even highly mobile species, like birds, can fail to disperse across such landscapes. The naturally fragmented forests of the northern Great Basin are thought to have led to the evolution of unique species. Other species in these forests may also exhibit unique genetic diversity. The Northern Goshawk, a species occupying these forests, has shown low integration between geographically dispersed populations elsewhere in its range. We evaluated genetic diversity and connectivity of the goshawks in the northern Great Basin by extracting mitochondrial DNA and placing the birds in biogeographical context of other populations in the West. We utilized blood and feather samples from nestling and adult birds from five forest islands in south-central Idaho, as well as, the Owyhee Mountains in South West Idaho and Malheur National Forest in Eastern Oregon to compare mitochondrial DNA sequences among individuals. Our work provides a continuation of understanding the genetic ecology of Goshawks in the northern Great Basin, and the genetic health and integration of these birds compared with other populations.