Conservation implications of diverse demographic histories: the case study of green peafowl (Pavo muticus, Linnaeus 1766)
The green peafowl (Pavo muticus, Linnaeus 1766) is an endangered species native to Southeast Asia. Despite considerable morphological diversity, the intraspecific genetic structure of green peafowl has not been comprehensively addressed. We used public whole-genome sequencing data of one blue and 52 green peafowls to characterise their genetic diversity, differentiation, identify Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs) and compare their demographic histories. We found evidence of substantial population structure, with at least three distinct clusters and diverse demographic histories that may result from different responses to biogeoclimatic events. The genetic structure of native populations follows the pattern of the geographic distribution of the green peafowl with the highest autosomal pairwise FST between Yunnan and Vietnam (~ 0.1) and intermediate estimates for Thailand comparisons (~ 0.077). We identify AIMs to distinguish between these three native populations. The captive green peafowls from Xinxing clustered with Vietnam, and those from Qinhuangdao (QHD) formed a separate cluster. The two QHD individuals appear to have varying levels of blue peafowl ancestry based on PCA and admixture analysis and are mirrored in their demographic histories. Our study establishes the occurrence of genetically distinct natural populations of green peafowl that can be considered separate management units (MU) when planning conservation actions.
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Described in the published paper with the title: Conservation implications of diverse demographic histories: the case study of green peafowl (Pavo muticus, Linnaeus 1766)