Date of Award
Master of Science
Dr. Sharon A. Gill
Dr. Maarten Vonhof
Dr. Steven Kohler
Birds, delayed dispersal, natal dispersal, kin structure, family living
Masters Thesis-Open Access
Family-living species provide an exciting model to examine how natal dispersal and kin structure influence genetic structuring within local populations. Juvenile buff-breasted wrens (Cantorchilus leucotis) of both sexes delay dispersal and exhibit short-distance natal dispersal, which should lead to kin-structured populations in which relatives of both sexes occupy neighboring territories. Blood samples collected from juvenile and adult wrens in Gamboa, Panama were analyzed using microsatellite markers to determine whether related individuals are spatially clustered on neighboring territories, spatial clusters of relatives change over time, and if kin structure is sex-specific. Global and local spatial autocorrelation analyses detected genetic structuring among males over time, however this pattern was not prevalent among females. These spatial genetic patterns suggest that males may disperse shorter distances than females, which may lead to genetic structuring. When subject to genetic drift and isolation by distance, this kin structuring may increase the probability of population differentiation among behaviorally and geographically isolated populations.
Alessi, Sarah C., "The Rise and Fall of Kin Structure in the Neotropical, Family-Living Buff-Breasted Wren (Cantorchilus Leucotis) in Gamboa, Panama" (2012). Masters Theses. 99.