Habitat fragmentation and genetic diversity of an endangered, migratory songbird, the golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia). Lindsay D, Barr K, Lance R, Tweddale S, Hayden T & Leberg P. (2008). Mol ecol. Online early (doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.03673.x)
This is a nice paper about fragmentation and population genetics in a bird population. The studies reporting loss of habitat and increased genetic differentiation in birds are rather scarce. This might have something to do with the birds ability to fly.. Here we have anyway a paper where the authors report positive correlation between increased farmland area (which can be a dispersal barrier), geographic distance and genetic diversity. In other ways this migratory species that can fly thousands of kilometers, seems to exhibit limited dispersal to one of the habitat patches. The authors speculate that this can be due to their general dislike to cross open (farmland) areas or that this isolated site is more difficult for birds to find. They couldn´t find any bottleneck effect or separate any significant management units.
The sample sizes (109 ind. from seven sites) and number of microsatellite loci used (9) in this study are not the greatest, but in general it is a nice paper. Golden-cheeked warblers resembles Siberian Jays in their general ecology, but they are migratory and thus more likely to fly greater distances when they disperse.