Being cosmopolitan: evolutionary history and phylogeography of a specialized raptor, the Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Abstract : BACKGROUND: The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is one of only six bird species with an almost world-wide distribution. We aimed at clarifying its phylogeographic structure and elucidating its taxonomic status (as it is currently separated into four subspecies). We tested six biogeographical scenarios to explain how the species' distribution and differentiation took place in the past and how such a specialized raptor was able to colonize most of the globe. RESULTS: Using two mitochondrial genes (cyt b and ND2), the Osprey appeared structured into four genetic groups representing quasi non-overlapping geographical regions. The group Indo-Australasia corresponds to the cristatus ssp, as well as the group Europe-Africa to the haliaetus ssp. In the Americas, we found a single lineage for both carolinensis and ridgwayi ssp, whereas in north-east Asia (Siberia and Japan), we discovered a fourth new lineage. The four lineages are well differentiated, contrasting with the low genetic variability observed within each clade. Historical demographic reconstructions suggested that three of the four lineages experienced stable trends or slight demographic increases. Molecular dating estimates the initial split between lineages at about 1.16 Ma ago, in the Early Pleistocene. CONCLUSIONS: Our biogeographical inference suggests a pattern of colonization from the American continent towards the Old World. Populations of the Palearctic would represent the last outcomes of this colonization. At a global scale the Osprey complex may be composed of four different Evolutionary Significant Units, which should be treated as specific management units. Our study brought essential genetic clarifications, which have implications for conservation strategies in identifying distinct lineages across which birds should not be artificially moved through exchange/reintroduction schemes.
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Flavio Monti, Olivier Duriez, Véronique Arnal, Jean-Marie Dominici, Andrea Sforzi, et al.. Being cosmopolitan: evolutionary history and phylogeography of a specialized raptor, the Osprey Pandion haliaetus. BMC Evolutionary Biology, BioMed Central, 2015, 15, pp.255. ⟨10.1186/s12862-015-0535-6⟩. ⟨hal-02394347⟩

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