Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 52, Issue 7, pp 321-337

First online:

Genetic Differentiation Among Populations of the Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja; Aves: Pelecaniformes) in Three Brazilian Wetlands

  • Carolina Isabel MiñoAffiliated withDepartamento de Genética e Evolução, Universidade Federal de São CarlosDepartamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución and IEGEBA-CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellón II Ciudad Universitaria (C1428EHA) Email author 
  • , Silvia Nassif Del LamaAffiliated withDepartamento de Genética e Evolução, Universidade Federal de São Carlos

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Effective population size, levels of genetic diversity, gene flow, and genetic structuring were assessed in 205 colonial Roseate spoonbills from 11 breeding colonies from north, central west, and south Brazil. Colonies and regions exhibited similar moderate levels of diversity at five microsatellite loci (mean expected heterozygosity range 0.50–0.62; allelic richness range 3.17–3.21). The central west region had the highest Ne (59). F ST values revealed low but significant genetic structuring among colonies within the north and within the south regions. Significant global genetic structuring was found between the northern and central western populations as well as between the northern and southern populations. An individual-based Bayesian clustering method inferred three population clusters. Assignment tests correctly allocated up to 64% of individuals to their source regions. Collectively, results revealed complex demographic dynamics, with ongoing gene flow on a local scale, but genetic differentiation on a broader scale. Populations in the three regions may all be conserved, but special concern should be given to central western ones, which can significantly contribute to the species’ gene pool in Brazil.


Aquatic birds Breeding colonies Effective population size Nuclear markers Regional genetic structuring