Demographic responses of oceanic island birds to local and regional ecological disruptions revealed by whole-genome sequencing.

TitleDemographic responses of oceanic island birds to local and regional ecological disruptions revealed by whole-genome sequencing.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsGabrielli, M, Leroy, T, Salmona, J, Nabholz, B, Milá, B, Thébaud, C
JournalMol Ecol
Date Published2024 Feb

Disentangling the effects of ecological disruptions operating at different spatial and temporal scales in shaping past species' demography is particularly important in the current context of rapid environmental changes driven by both local and regional factors. We argue that volcanic oceanic islands provide useful settings to study the influence of past ecological disruptions operating at local and regional scales on population demographic histories. We investigate potential drivers of past population dynamics for three closely related species of passerine birds from two volcanic oceanic islands, Reunion and Mauritius (Mascarene archipelago), with distinct volcanic history. Using ABC and PSMC inferences from complete genomes, we reconstructed the demographic history of the Reunion Grey White-eye (Zosterops borbonicus (Pennant, 1781)), the Reunion Olive White-eye (Z. olivaceus (Linnaeus, 1766)) and the Mauritius Grey White-eye (Z. mauritianus (Gmelin, 1789)) and searched for possible causes underlying similarities or differences between species living on the same or different islands. Both demographic inferences strongly support ancient and long-term expansions in all species. They also reveal different trajectories between species inhabiting different islands, but consistent demographic trajectories in species or populations from the same island. Species from Reunion appear to have experienced synchronous reductions in population size during the Last Glacial Maximum, a trend not seen in the Mauritian species. Overall, this study suggests that local events may have played a role in shaping population trajectories of these island species. It also highlights the potential of our conceptual framework to disentangle the effects of local and regional drivers on past species' demography and long-term population processes.

Alternate JournalMol Ecol
PubMed ID38108507
Grant List / / 'Laboratoire d'Excellence' TULIP /
/ / Agence Française pour le Développement /
ANR-14-CE02-0002 / / Agence Nationale de la Recherche /
/ / Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversite /
/ / Fonds Inkermann /
/ / Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique /
/ / National Geographic Society /