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Past volcanic activity predisposes an endemic threatened seabird to negative anthropogenic impacts

Teixeira, Helena; Le Corre, Matthieu; Michon, Laurent; Nicoll, Malcolm AC; Jaeger, Audrey; Nikolic, Natacha; Pinet, Patrick; ... Humeau, Laurence; + view all (2024) Past volcanic activity predisposes an endemic threatened seabird to negative anthropogenic impacts. Scientific Reports , 14 , Article 1960. 10.1038/s41598-024-52556-9. Green open access

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Abstract

Humans are regularly cited as the main driver of current biodiversity extinction, but the impact of historic volcanic activity is often overlooked. Pre-human evidence of wildlife abundance and diversity are essential for disentangling anthropogenic impacts from natural events. Réunion Island, with its intense and well-documented volcanic activity, endemic biodiversity, long history of isolation and recent human colonization, provides an opportunity to disentangle these processes. We track past demographic changes of a critically endangered seabird, the Mascarene petrel Pseudobulweria aterrima, using genome-wide SNPs. Coalescent modeling suggested that a large ancestral population underwent a substantial population decline in two distinct phases, ca. 125,000 and 37,000 years ago, coinciding with periods of major eruptions of Piton des Neiges. Subsequently, the ancestral population was fragmented into the two known colonies, ca. 1500 years ago, following eruptions of Piton de la Fournaise. In the last century, both colonies declined significantly due to anthropogenic activities, and although the species was initially considered extinct, it was rediscovered in the 1970s. Our findings suggest that the current conservation status of wildlife on volcanic islands should be firstly assessed as a legacy of historic volcanic activity, and thereafter by the increasing anthropogenic impacts, which may ultimately drive species towards extinction.

Type: Article
Title: Past volcanic activity predisposes an endemic threatened seabird to negative anthropogenic impacts
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-024-52556-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-52556-9
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Evolutionary biology, Population genetics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10186463
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