Divergent evolutionary processes associated with colonization of offshore islands

Martinkova, Natália; Barnett, Ross; Cucchi, Thomas; Struchen, Rahel; Pascal, Marine; Pascal, Michel; Fischer, Martin C.; Higham, Thomas; Brace, Selina; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Quere, Jean-Pierre; O'Higgins, Paul; Excoffier, Laurent; Heckel, Gerald; Hoelzel, A. Rus; Dobney, Keith M.; Searle, Jeremy B. (2013). Divergent evolutionary processes associated with colonization of offshore islands. Molecular Ecology, 22(20), pp. 5205-5220. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/mec.12462

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Oceanic islands have been a test ground for evolutionary theory, but here, we focus on the possibilities for evolutionary study created by offshore islands. These can be colonized through various means and by a wide range of species, including those with low dispersal capabilities. We use morphology, modern and ancient sequences of cytochrome b (cytb) and microsatellite genotypes to examine colonization history and evolutionary change associated with occupation of the Orkney archipelago by the common vole (Microtus arvalis), a species found in continental Europe but not in Britain. Among possible colonization scenarios, our results are most consistent with human introduction at least 5100 bp (confirmed by radiocarbon dating). We used approximate Bayesian computation of population history to infer the coast of Belgium as the possible source and estimated the evolutionary timescale using a Bayesian coalescent approach. We showed substantial morphological divergence of the island populations, including a size increase presumably driven by selection and reduced microsatellite variation likely reflecting founder events and genetic drift. More surprisingly, our results suggest that a recent and widespread cytb replacement event in the continental source area purged cytb variation there, whereas the ancestral diversity is largely retained in the colonized islands as a genetic ‘ark’. The replacement event in the continental M. arvalis was probably triggered by anthropogenic causes (land-use change). Our studies illustrate that small offshore islands can act as field laboratories for studying various evolutionary processes over relatively short timescales, informing about the mainland source area as well as the island.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Population Genetics

UniBE Contributor:

Excoffier, Laurent and Heckel, Gerald

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0962-1083

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Isabelle Duperret

Date Deposited:

04 Aug 2014 11:48

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2015 11:02

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/mec.12462

Uncontrolled Keywords:

demographic analysis, genetic replacement, island colonization, Microtus arvalis, phylogeography

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.45475

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/45475

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