The genetic structuring of the introduced house sparrow population across Australia and New Zealand

Sam’s paper characterising the structure of the house sparrow populations across Australia and New Zealand, was recently published in Biological Invasions.

The structure plot, illustrating the clusters of populations, based on their genetic structure From Fig 2. Andrew et al (2018)

The main conclusion of this work is that the population genetic structure of the house sparrows across Australia and New Zealand today, largely reflects the historical introductions of these populations, that were founded by deliberate introductions in the 1850-60s, by the Acclimatization Societies that were active in New Zealand, and multiple cities across Australia. As well as confirming the historical records concerning the site of independent introductions, the strong structure that we have characterised suggests limited movement between many populations. This is interesting because it provides the opportunity for selection to act on contemporary populations fairly independently and local adaptation may result, particularly given the range of climates and ecological variation faced by the different populations.

Andrew SC, Awasthy M, Bolton PE, Rollins LA, Nakagawa S, Griffith SC, (2018) The genetic structure of the introduced house sparrow populations in Australia and New Zealand is consistent with historical descriptions of multiple introductions to each country. Biological Invasions, 6, 1507-1522.

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