Phylogeography and conservation genetics of the lesser white-fronted goose (Anser erythropus)

Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus) Science Article 1


Analyses of mitochondrial control region sequences were used to infer phylogeny of Anser species,phylogeography of the lesser white-fronted goose, and genetic background of a captive stock.The genetic distances among the Anser species ranged from 0.9 to 5.5% in the complete controlregion sequences and supported the view of close relatedness of these species. Among the four mostclosely related species, the bean, pink-footed, white-fronted and lesser white-fronted goose, thebranching order is uncertain. The short internal branches and low support for the branching ordersuggest that the species have diverged recently within short time-intervals. The mtDNA tree obtainedis incongruent with the traditional view of the species relationships, but the reasons for this remainto be clarified.Two diverged mitochondrial lineages were found in the lesser white-fronted goose and a refugialorigin was proposed. Basal haplotypes are geographically widespread and indicate a recent commonancestry for populations. The derived haplotypes are confined to singular breeding populations andsuggest restrictions to the present female gene flow. A shift in the frequency of the mtDNA lineagesapproximately coincides with a migratory divide in the Taimyr Peninsula. Low mtDNA diversity andsignificant difference in the haplotype frequencies observed in Fennoscandian subpopulationsuggested that it should be considered as a management unit. The fossil record was examined to gainadditional information about the colonisation history of the species, but was found to be of limiteduse.

Ruokonen, Minna, Academic Dissertation of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, 2001

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