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  1. null (Ed.)
    Introgression of beneficial alleles has emerged as an important avenue for genetic adaptation in both plant and animal populations. In vertebrates, adaptation to hypoxic high-altitude environments involves the coordination of multiple molecular and cellular mechanisms, including selection on the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway and the blood-O2 transport protein hemoglobin (Hb). In two Andean duck species, a striking DNA sequence similarity reflecting identity by descent is present across the ~20 kb β-globin cluster including both embryonic (HBE) and adult (HBB) paralogs, though it was yet untested whether this is due to independent parallel evolution or adaptive introgression. In this study, we find that identical amino acid substitutions in the β-globin cluster that increase Hb-O2 affinity have likely resulted from historical interbreeding between high-altitude populations of two different distantly-related species. We examined the direction of introgression and discovered that the species with a deeper mtDNA divergence that colonized high altitude earlier in history (Anas flavirostris) transferred adaptive genetic variation to the species with a shallower divergence (A. georgica) that likely colonized high altitude more recently possibly following a range shift into a novel environment. As a consequence, the species that received these β-globin variants through hybridization might have adapted to hypoxic conditions in the high-altitude environment more quickly through acquiring beneficial alleles from the standing, hybrid-origin variation, leading to faster evolution. 
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  2. Abstract

    Understanding both sides of host–parasite relationships can provide more complete insights into host and parasite biology in natural systems. For example, phylogenetic and population genetic comparisons between a group of hosts and their closely associated parasites can reveal patterns of host dispersal, interspecies interactions, and population structure that might not be evident from host data alone. These comparisons are also useful for understanding factors that drive host–parasite coevolutionary patterns (e.g., codivergence or host switching) over different periods of time. However, few studies have compared the evolutionary histories between multiple groups of parasites from the same group of hosts at a regional geographic scale. Here, we used genomic data to compare phylogenomic and population genomic patterns of Alaska ptarmigan and grouse species (Aves: Tetraoninae) and two genera of their associated feather lice:LagopoecusandGoniodes. We used whole‐genome sequencing to obtain hundreds of genes and thousands of single‐nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for the lice and double‐digest restriction‐associated DNA sequences to obtain SNPs from Alaska populations of two species of ptarmigan. We found that both genera of lice have some codivergence with their galliform hosts, but these relationships are primarily characterized by host switching and phylogenetic incongruence. Population structure was also uncorrelated between the hosts and lice. These patterns suggest that grouse, and ptarmigan in particular, share habitats and have likely had historical and ongoing dispersal within Alaska. However, the two genera of lice also have sufficient dissimilarities in the relationships with their hosts to suggest there are other factors, such as differences in louse dispersal ability, that shape the evolutionary patterns with their hosts.

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  3. Abstract

    Anthropogenic alterations to landscape structure and composition can have significant impacts on biodiversity, potentially leading to species extinctions. Population‐level impacts of landscape change are mediated by animal behaviors, in particular dispersal behavior. Little is known about the dispersal habits of rails (Rallidae) due to their cryptic behavior and tendency to occupy densely vegetated habitats. The effects of landscape structure on the movement behavior of waterbirds in general are poorly studied due to their reputation for having high dispersal abilities. We used a landscape genetic approach to test hypotheses of landscape effects on dispersal behavior of the Hawaiian gallinule (Gallinula galeata sandvicensis), an endangered subspecies endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. We created a suite of alternative resistance surfaces representing biologically plausible a priori hypotheses of how gallinules might navigate the landscape matrix and ranked these surfaces by their ability to explain observed patterns in genetic distance among 12 populations on the island of O`ahu. We modeled effective distance among wetland locations on all surfaces using both cumulative least‐cost‐path and resistance‐distance approaches and evaluated relative model performance using Mantel tests, a causal modeling approach, and the mixed‐model maximum‐likelihood population‐effects framework. Across all genetic markers, simulation methods, and model comparison metrics, surfaces that treated linear water features like streams, ditches, and canals as corridors for gallinule movement outperformed all other models. This is the first landscape genetic study on the movement behavior of any waterbird species to our knowledge. Our results indicate that lotic water features, including drainage infrastructure previously thought to be of minimal habitat value, contribute to habitat connectivity in this listed subspecies.

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