Data from: Long-distance dispersal maximizes evolutionary potential during rapid geographic range expansion

C├ęcile Berthouly-Salazar, Cang Hui, Tim M. Blackburn, Coline Gaboriaud, Berndt J. Van Rensburg, Bettine Jansen Van Vuuren & Johannes J. Le Roux
Conventional wisdom predicts that sequential founder events will cause genetic diversity to erode in species with expanding geographic ranges, limiting evolutionary potential at the range margin. Here, we show that invasive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in South Africa preserve genetic diversity during range expansion, possibly as a result of frequent long-distance dispersal events. We further show that unfavourable environmental conditions trigger enhanced dispersal, as indicated by signatures of selection detected across the expanding range. This...

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  • University of Pretoria
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  • King Saud University
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  • Zoological Society of London
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  • University of Johannesburg
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  • Stellenbosch University
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