Searching for genetic evidence of demographic decline in an arctic seabird: beware of overlapping generations

Emeline Charbonnel, Claire Daguin, Lucille Caradec, Eléonore Moittié, Olivier Gilg, Maria Gavrilo, Hallvard Strom, Mark L Mallory, Grant Gilchrist, R. I. Guy Morrisson, Raphael Leblois, Camille Roux, Jonathan M Yearsley, Glenn Yannic & Thomas Broquet
Genetic data are useful for detecting sudden population declines in species that are difficult to study in the field. Yet this indirect approach has its own drawbacks, including population structure, mutation patterns, and generation overlap. The ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea), a long-lived Arctic seabird, is currently suffering from rapid alteration of its primary habitat (i.e., sea ice), and dramatic climatic events affecting reproduction and recruitment. However, ivory gulls live in remote areas, and it is...
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