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Wallace S.J.,Queens University | Wolf S.G.,Center for Biological Diversity | Bradley R.W.,Point Blue Conservation Science formerly PRBO | Harvey A.L.,California Institute of Environmental Studies | Friesen V.L.,Queens University
Journal of Biogeography

Aim: Our aim was to investigate the influence of biogeographical barriers along the Pacific coast of North America on population genetic structure and gene flow using Cassin's auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) as a test case. Location: We collected samples from 287 Cassin's auklets breeding along the Pacific coast of North America from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA, to Baja California, Mexico. Methods: We amplified a 706 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial control region and 11 microsatellites to obtain independent estimates of population genetic structure and gene flow among colonies using programs based on coalescent and Bayesian theory. We tested whether genetic differentiation was related to geographical distance between sampling sites, and whether gene flow has occurred between differentiated groups. Results: We found two distinct genetic groups along the Cassin's auklet breeding range. These clusters matched the current subspecies designations, except that individuals breeding in the Channel Islands, California, were traditionally classified with the northern subspecies but were more genetically similar to the Baja California subspecies. Population genetic differentiation was not evident within either of the two genetic groups, despite large geographical distances between sampling locations. Evidence suggests that gene flow has occurred from the northern genetic group (Aleutian Islands to Southeast Farallon Islands) into the southern genetic group (Channel Islands to San Benito Island) since divergence, but gene flow may not have occurred in the opposite direction. These results suggest that a barrier to gene flow from south to north may occur at Point Conception. Main conclusions: Although a relatively short geographical distance occurs between sampling sites of Cassin's auklets across Point Conception, individuals breeding north of Point Conception are genetically differentiated from individuals breeding in southern California and Baja California. Population genetic differentiation of the southern genetic group provides support for a role of a barrier to gene flow around Point Conception in generating biodiversity in this area. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Leising A.W.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Schroeder I.D.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Bograd S.J.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Bjorkstedt E.P.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 34 more authors.
California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Reports

In 2013, the California current was dominated by strong coastal upwelling and high productivity. Indices of total cumulative upwelling for particular coastal locations reached some of the highest values on record. Chlorophyll a levels were high throughout spring and summer. Catches of upwelling-related fish species were also high. After a moderate drop in upwelling during fall 2013, the California current system underwent a major change in phase. Three major basin-scale indicators, the PDO, the NPGO, and the ENSO-MEI, all changed phase at some point during the winter of 2013/14. The PDO changed to positive values, indicative of warmer waters in the North Pacific; the NPGO to negative values, indicative of lower productivity along the coast; and the MEI to positive values, indicative of an oncoming El Niño. Whereas the majority of the California Current system appears to have transitioned to an El Niño state by August 2014, based on decreases in upwelling and chlorophyll a concentration, and increases in SST, there still remained pockets of moderate upwelling, cold water, and high chlorophyll a biomass at various central coast locations, unlike patterns seen during the more major El Niños (e.g., the 97-98 event). Catches of rockfish, market squid, euphausiids, and juvenile sanddab remained high along the central coast, whereas catches of sardine and anchovy were low throughout the CCS. 2014 appears to be heading towards a moderate El Niño state, with some remaining patchy regions of upwellingdriven productivity along the coast. Superimposed on this pattern, three major regions have experienced possibly non-El Niño-related warming since winter: the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, and offshore of southern California. It is unclear how this warming may interact with the predicted El Niño, but the result will likely be reduced growth or reproduction for many key fisheries species. © 2014, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. All rights reserved. Source

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