Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Long-term isolation of a highly mobile seabird on the Galapagos

Hailer, Frank, Schreiber, E. A., Miller, Joshua M., Levin, Iris I., Parker, Patricia G., Chesser, R. Terry and Fleischer, Robert C. 2011. Long-term isolation of a highly mobile seabird on the Galapagos. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 278 (1707) , pp. 817-825. 10.1098/rspb.2010.1342

Full text not available from this repository.


The Galapagos Islands are renowned for their high degree of endemism. Marine taxa inhabiting the archipelago might be expected to be an exception, because of their utilization of pelagic habitats—the dispersal barrier for terrestrial taxa—as foraging grounds. Magnificent frigatebirds (Fregata magnificens) have a highly vagile lifestyle and wide geographical distribution around the South and Central American coasts. Given the potentially high levels of gene flow among populations, the species provides a good test of the effectiveness of the Galapagos ecosystem in isolating populations of highly dispersive marine species. We studied patterns of genetic (mitochondrial DNA, microsatellites and nuclear introns) and morphological variation across the distribution of magnificent frigatebirds. Concordant with predictions from life-history traits, we found signatures of extensive gene flow over most of the range, even across the Isthmus of Panama, which is a major barrier to gene flow in other tropical seabirds. In contrast, individuals from the Galapagos were strongly differentiated from all conspecifics, and have probably been isolated for several hundred thousand years. Our finding is a powerful testimony to the evolutionary uniqueness of the taxa inhabiting the Galapagos archipelago and its associated marine ecosystems.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Royal Society
ISSN: 0962-8452
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2020 09:36

Citation Data

Cited 30 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item