Silva, M.F., Smith, A.L., Friesen, V., Bried, J., Hasegawa, O., Coelho, M. & Silva, M.C. (2016) Mechanisms of global diversification in the marine species Madeiran storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro and Monteiro’s storm-petrel O. monteiroi: insights from a multi-locus approach.Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 98, 314-323. DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.02.014 (IF2016 4,419; Q1 Evolutionary Biology)
The evolutionary mechanisms underlying the geographic distribution of gene lineages in the marine environment are not as well understood as those affecting terrestrial groups. The continuous nature of the pelagic marine environment may limit opportunities for divergence to occur and lineages to spatially segregate, particularly in highly mobile species. Here, we studied the phylogeography and historical demography of two tropically distributed, pelagic seabirds, the Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro, sampled in the Azores, Madeira, Galapagos and Japan, and its sister species Monteiro’s Storm-petrel O. monteiroi (endemic to the Azores), using a multi-locus dataset consisting of 12 anonymous nuclear loci and the mitochondrial locus control region. Both marker types support the existence of four significantly differentiated genetic clusters, including the sampled O. monteiroi population and three populations within O. castro, although only the mitochondrial locus suggests complete lineage sorting. Multi-locus coalescent analyses suggest that most divergence events occurred within the last 200,000 years. The proximity in divergence times precluded robust inferences of the species tree, in particular of the evolutionary relationships of the Pacific populations. Despite the great potential for dispersal, divergence among populations apparently proceeded in the absence of gene flow, emphasizing the effect of non-physical barriers, such as those driven by the paleo-oceanographical environments, philopatry and local adaptation, as important mechanisms of population divergence and speciation in highly mobile marine species. In view of the predicted climate change impacts, future changes in the demography and evolutionary dynamics of marine populations might be expected.