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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Genetic differentiation in Sichuan jay (Perisoreus internigrans) and its sibling species Siberian jay (P. infaustus)

Song, Kai; Halvarsson, Peter; Fang, Yun; Barnaby, Jonathan; Germogenov, Nickolai; Sun, Yuehua; Hoglund, Jacob


The Pleistocene ice age and recent forest fragmentation have both played a significant role in shaping the population genetic variation of boreal coniferous species in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) and Eurasian coniferous forests. The Sichuan jay is one of the least know endemic bird species in QTP coniferous forests in western China while its sibling species, the Siberian Jay, is widespread within the coniferous forests in northern Eurasia. Here we used 11 microsatellite markers to assay genetic diversity across 58 Sichuan jay samples from China and 205 Siberian jay samples from Sweden and Russia. Results showed three distinct genetic clusters from the Sichuan jay sampling. Furthermore, the pair-wise F-ST values indicated high genetic differentiation not only among the two species but also between Swedish and Russian Siberian jay populations. What is more, a pattern of isolation by distance was found among the analyzed populations. Our study suggests that targeted habitat restoration in fragmented forests and more genetic work is urgently needed for conservation of the Sichuan jay.


Coniferous forests; Microsatellites; Genetic differentiation; Sichuan jay; IBD

Published in

Conservation Genetics
2020, Volume: 21, number: 2, pages: 319-327
Publisher: SPRINGER

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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