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Discovery of a morphologically and genetically distinct population of Black‐tailed Godwits in the East Asian‐Australasian Flyway
Zhu, B.-R.; Verkuil, Y.I.; Conklin, J.R.; Yang, A.; Lei, W.; Alves, J.A.; Hassell, C.J.; Dorofeev, D.; Zhang, Z.; Piersma, T. (2021). Discovery of a morphologically and genetically distinct population of Black‐tailed Godwits in the East Asian‐Australasian Flyway. Ibis 163(2): 448-462. https://doi.org/10.1111/ibi.12890
In: Ibis. British Ornithologists' Union/Wiley: London. ISSN 0019-1019; e-ISSN 1474-919X, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

Author keywords
    genetic population structure; migration; morphology; mtDNA; subspeciation; shorebirds; taxonomy

Auteurs  Top 
  • Zhu, B.-R.
  • Verkuil, Y.I.
  • Conklin, J.R.
  • Yang, A.
  • Lei, W.
  • Alves, J.A.
  • Hassell, C.J.
  • Dorofeev, D.
  • Zhang, Z.
  • Piersma, T., meer

Abstract

    Occurring across Eurasia, the Black‐tailed Godwit Limosa limosahas three recognized subspecies, melanuroides, limosa and islandica from east to west, respectively. With the smallest body size, melanuroides has been considered the only subspecies in the East Asian‐Australasian Flyway. Yet, observations along the Chinese coast indicated the presence of distinctively large individuals. Here we compared the morphometrics of these larger birds captured in northern Bohai Bay, China, with those of the three known subspecies and explore the genetic population structuring of Black‐tailed Godwits based on the control region of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA). We found that the Bohai Godwits wereindeed significantly larger than melanuroides, resembling limosa more than islandica, but with relatively longer bills than islandica. The level of genetic differentiation between Bohai Godwits and the three recognized subspecies was of similar magnitude to the differentiation among previously recognized subspecies. Based on these segregating morphological and genetic characteristics, we propose that these birds belong to a distinct population, which may be treated and described as a new subspecies.


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