The dynamics of historical and recent range shifts in the ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus)


JOURNAL OF ORNITHOLOGY, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10336-020-01828-y
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF ORNITHOLOGY


Climate variability is the most important force affecting distributional range dynamics of common and widespread species with important impacts on biogeographic patterns. This study integrates phylogeography with distributional analyses to understand the demographic history and range dynamics of a widespread bird species, the Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus), under several climate change scenarios. For this, I used an ecological niche modeling approach, together with Bayesian based phylogeographic analysis and landscape genetics, to develop robust inferences regarding this species' demographic history and range dynamics. The model's predictions were mostly congruent with the present distribution of the Ruffed Grouse. However, under the Last Glacial Maximum bioclimatic conditions, the model predicted a substantially narrower distribution than the present. The predictions for the Last Glacial Maximum also showed three allopatric refugia in south-eastern and west-coast North America, and a cryptic refugium in Alaska. The prediction for the Last Interglacial showed two separate distributions to the west and east of the Rocky Mountains. In addition, the predictions for 2050 and 2070 indicated that the Ruffed Grouse will most likely show slight range shifts to the north and will become more widely distributed than in the past or present. At present, effective population connectivity throughout North America was weakly positively correlated withF(st)values. That is, the species' distribution range showed a weak isolation-by-resistance pattern. The extended Bayesian Skyline Plot analysis, which provided good resolution of the effective population size changes over the Ruffed Grouse's history, was mostly congruent with ecological niche modelling predictions for this species. This study offers the first investigation of the late-Quaternary history of the Ruffed Grouse based on ecological niche modelling and Bayesian based demographic analysis. The species' present genetic structure is significantly affected by past climate changes, particularly during the last 130 kybp. That is, this study offers valuable evidence of the 'expansion-contraction' model of North America's Pleistocene biogeography.