Silva, M.C., Matias, R., Wanless, R.M., Ryan, P.G., Stephenson, B.M., Bolton, M., Ferrand, N., Coelho, M.M. (2015) Understanding the mechanisms of antitropical divergence in the seabird White-faced Storm-petrel (Procellariiformes: Pelagodroma marina) using a multilocus approach.Molecular Ecology, 24(12), 3122–3137. DOI:10.1111/mec.13212 (IF2015 5,947; Q1 Ecology)
Analytical methods that apply coalescent theory to multilocus data have improved inferences of demographic parameters that are critical to understanding population divergence and speciation. In particular, at the early stages of speciation, it is important to implement models that accommodate conflicting gene trees, and benefit from the presence of shared polymorphisms. Here, we employ eleven nuclear loci and the mitochondrial control region to investigate the phylogeography and historical demography of the pelagic seabird White-faced Storm-petrel (Pelagodroma marina) by sampling subspecies across its antitropical distribution. Groups are all highly differentiated: global mitochondrial ΦST = 0.89 (P < 0.01) and global nuclear ΦST varies between 0.22 and 0.83 (all P < 0.01). The complete lineage sorting of the mitochondrial locus between hemispheres is corroborated by approximately half of the nuclear genealogies, suggesting a long-term antitropical divergence in isolation. Coalescent-based estimates of demographic parameters suggest that hemispheric divergence of P. marina occurred approximately 840 000 ya (95% HPD 582 000-1 170 000), in the absence of gene flow, and divergence within the Southern Hemisphere occurred 190 000 ya (95% HPD 96 000-600 000), both probably associated with the profound palaeo-oceanographic changes of the Pleistocene. A fledgling sampled in St Helena (tropical South Atlantic) suggests recent colonization from the Northern Hemisphere. Despite the great potential for long-distance dispersal, P. marina antitropical groups have been evolving as independent, allopatric lineages, and divergence is probably maintained by philopatry coupled with asynchronous reproductive phenology and local adaptation.