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Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 157, Issue 1, pp 117–123 | Cite as

Searching for a breeding population of Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel at Selvagem Grande, NE Atlantic, with a molecular characterization of occurring birds and relationships within the Hydrobatinae

  • Mónica C. Silva
  • Rafael Matias
  • Vânia Ferreira
  • Paulo Catry
  • José P. Granadeiro
Original Article

Abstract

Long-distance dispersal plays a critical role in population dynamics, particularly in species that occupy fragmented habitats, but it is seldom detected and investigated. The pelagic seabird Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel, Oceanodroma monorhis, breeds exclusively in the NW Pacific. Individuals have been regularly observed in the Atlantic Ocean since the 1980s, but breeding has never been confirmed. In this study, we searched for evidence of breeding of Swinhoe’s Storm-petrels on Selvagem Grande Island, NE Atlantic, between 2007 and 2013. During this period, six individuals were captured, sexed and characterized molecularly for two mitochondrial loci, cytochrome oxydase I and the control region, to confirm species identity, survey genetic diversity and estimate evolutionary relationships within the Hydrobatinae. These individuals were confirmed to be Swinhoe’s Storm-petrels, and all except one are females. Phylogenetic analyses suggest sister relationship with Matsudaira’s Storm-petrel and dismiss misidentifications with other dark rump species. Patterns of genetic variation suggest that dispersal occurred likely by more than a single female. Despite the record of a pair duetting in a burrow, breeding could not be confirmed. Swinhoe’s Storm-petrels are regularly occurring at Selvagem Grande, but capture/recapture patterns suggest that a possible breeding population is small and likely not self-sustaining. In seabirds, long-distance dispersal events may facilitate colonization of new habitats created in the context of predicted climate change impacts on the marine ecosystems.

Keywords

Oceanodroma monorhis Selvagem Grande Long-distance dispersal COI Control region Hydrobatinae 

Zusammenfassung

Auf der Suche nach einer Brutpopulation des Swinhoewellenläufers (Oceanodroma monorhis) auf Selvagem Grande im Nordost-Atlantik mithilfe molekularer Charakterisierung dort vorkommender Vögel und ihres Verwandtschaftsgrads innerhalb der Hydrobatinae-Unterfamilie Verbreitung über weite Entfernungen spielt in der Populationsdynamik eine herausragende Rolle, besonders bei Arten, die voneinander getrennte Habitate besetzen; dennoch wird diese Verbreitung nur selten beobachtet und untersucht. Der pelagisch lebende Swinhoewellenläufer (Oceanodroma monorhis) brütet ausschließlich im Nordwest-Pazifik, einzelne Individuen wurden aber seit den 1980er Jahren regelmäßig auch im Atlantik beobachtet, wobei ein Brüten jedoch nie bestätigt werden konnte. Wir suchten von 2007 bis 2013 auf Selvagem Grande, einer Insel im Nordost-Atlantik, nach Nachweisen für brütende Swinhoewellenläufer. In dieser Zeit fingen wir sechs Einzeltiere, machten eine Geschlechtsbestimmung und charakterisierten sie molekular anhand zweier mitochondrialer Loci, Cytochrome Oxydase I und einer Kontrollregion, um ihre Art zu bestimmen, Aussagen über ihre genetische Vielfalt machen zu können und ihren evolutionären Verwandtschaftsgrad mit den Hydrobatinen einzuschätzen. Alle Tiere waren Swinhoewellenläufer und bis auf eines allesamt Weibchen. Phylogenetische Analysen zeigten eine Geschwisterverwandtschaft mit den Matsudaraiwellenläufern und schlossen eine mögliche Fehl-Identifizierung als andere Art mit dunklem Rumpf aus. Die Muster der genetischen Variationen wiesen darauf hin, dass die Verbreitung vermutlich auf mehr als einem einzigen Weibchen beruhte. Trotz des aufgezeichneten Duettgesangs eines Pärchens in einem Erdloch konnte jedoch keine Brut festgestellt werden. Swinhoewellenläufer tauchen regelmäßig auf Selvagem Grande auf, die Muster der Widerfänge weisen aber darauf hin, dass eine mögliche Brutpopulation nur klein und nicht selbsterhaltend sein kann. Bei Meeresvögeln mag eine Verbreitung über weite Entfernungen hinweg die Kolonisierung neuer Habitate erleichtern, die sich im Zusammenhang mit den vorhergesagten Klimaänderungen und deren Auswirkungen auf die marinen Ökosysteme bilden.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks are due to S. Birks from the Burke Museum, University of Washington, for help obtaining tissue samples and to C. Fernandes for helpful discussions. This work was financed by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal, through research projects PTDC/BIA-BDE/100118/2008, PTDC/MAR/121071/2010, Pest-OE/MAR/UI0331/2013 and UID/AMB/50017/2013. Thanks are due to the Serviço do Parque Natural da Madeira for their permission to undertake the work at the Selvagem Grande Island. T. Catry, M. Dias, C. Pérez, P. Lourenço, H. Alonso and other researchers helped searching and catching petrels in the Selvagens, and their effort is gratefully acknowledged. MCS was supported by the post-doctoral fellowship SFRH/BPD/85700/2012 from FCT. The blood samples were collected with the permission of the Parque Natural da Madeira, and the work complied with current Portuguese laws.

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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mónica C. Silva
    • 1
  • Rafael Matias
    • 2
    • 3
  • Vânia Ferreira
    • 1
  • Paulo Catry
    • 3
  • José P. Granadeiro
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Centre for Ecology and Conservation, School of BiosciencesUniversity of ExeterPenrynUK
  3. 3.MARE, Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, ISPA, Instituto UniversitárioLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, Departamento de Biologia AnimalFaculdade de Ciências, Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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