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Genetic structure of California Gnatcatcher populations in southern California from 2012 through 2013


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Kus, B.E., and Vandergast, A.G., 2018, Genetic structure of California Gnatcatcher populations in southern California from 2012 through 2013: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


These data were collected to determine how genetic variation is arrayed across remaining populations of gnatcatchers, allowing inference about individual movement and gene flow patterns among those populations. The work focused on determining the extent to which gnatcatcher aggregations function as an interconnected metapopulation, with aggregations exchanging migrants across a fragmented landscape and freely capable of re-establishing in patches from which they have been previously extirpated. These data will be used in combination with habitat and corridor indices to determine whether genetic connectivity is facilitated by stepping stone arrays of suitable habitat, or whether birds are unable to move across unsuitable habitat regardless [...]


Originator :
Barbara E Kus, Amy Vandergast
Point of Contact :
Barbara E Kus
Metadata Contact :
Erika N Sanchez-Chopitea
USGS Mission Area :
SDC Data Owner :
Western Ecological Research Center
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase

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Genetic Structure of California Gnatcatcher populations in southern California from 2012 through 2013.xml
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The target was to collect samples from at least five territories at each California Gnatcatcher population, for a total projected sample of approximately 250 individuals across the range. The number of adults sampled was reduced when we collected samples from nestlings instead (where a nest counts as one genetic sample to avoid introducing a bias by analyzing sibling groups). We used historic survey data on California Gnatcatcher occurrence to select study sites representing a range of population sizes and degree of isolation from one another. We sampled populations from throughout the range of the California Gnatcatcher, including those in the vicinities of (from north to south): Ventura County, Palos Verdes Peninsula, San Dimas area, Puente Hills/Chino Hills, Redlands, southern and central Orange County, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Aguanga area in western Riverside County, San Pasqual Valley, Lake Jennings, Sweetwater Reservoir, and Otay Valley. Specific project objectives were to: • Collect blood samples from California Gnatcatcher populations throughout southern California. • Develop a minimum of 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci that amplify DNA from California Gnatcatchers. • Use microsatellite markers to evaluate within- and among- population genetic variability.


The authors of these data require that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.



  • USGS Data Release Products
  • USGS Western Ecological Research Center



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DOI doi:10.5066/F77D2SBP

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