Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Inconsistency Between Socio-Spatial and Genetic Structure in a Coastal Dolphin Population


Chabanne, Delphine B H; Allen, Simon J; Sherwin, William Bruce; Finn, Hugh; Krützen, Michael (2021). Inconsistency Between Socio-Spatial and Genetic Structure in a Coastal Dolphin Population. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7:617540.

Abstract

Identifying population structure and boundaries among communities of wildlife exposed to anthropogenic threats is key to successful conservation management. Previous studies on the demography, social and spatial structure of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (<jats:italic>Tursiops aduncus</jats:italic>) suggested four nearly discrete behavioral communities in Perth metropolitan waters, Western Australia. We investigated the genetic structure of these four communities using highly polymorphic microsatellite markers and part of the hypervariable segment of the mitochondrial control region. Overall, there was no evidence of spatial genetic structure. We found significant, yet very small genetic differentiation between some communities, most likely due to the presence of highly related individuals within these communities. Our findings of high levels of contemporary migration and highly related individuals among communities point toward a panmictic genetic population with continuous gene flow among each of the communities. In species with slow life histories and fission-fusion dynamics, such as <jats:italic>Tursiops</jats:italic> spp., genetic and socio-spatial structures may reflect different timescales. Thus, despite genetic similarity, each social community should be considered as a distinct ecological unit to be conserved because they are exposed to different anthropogenic threats and occur in different ecological habitats, social structure being as important as genetic information for immediate conservation management. The estuarine community, in particular, is highly vulnerable and appropriate conservation measures are needed in order to maintain its connectivity with the adjacent, semi-enclosed coastal communities.

Abstract

Identifying population structure and boundaries among communities of wildlife exposed to anthropogenic threats is key to successful conservation management. Previous studies on the demography, social and spatial structure of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (<jats:italic>Tursiops aduncus</jats:italic>) suggested four nearly discrete behavioral communities in Perth metropolitan waters, Western Australia. We investigated the genetic structure of these four communities using highly polymorphic microsatellite markers and part of the hypervariable segment of the mitochondrial control region. Overall, there was no evidence of spatial genetic structure. We found significant, yet very small genetic differentiation between some communities, most likely due to the presence of highly related individuals within these communities. Our findings of high levels of contemporary migration and highly related individuals among communities point toward a panmictic genetic population with continuous gene flow among each of the communities. In species with slow life histories and fission-fusion dynamics, such as <jats:italic>Tursiops</jats:italic> spp., genetic and socio-spatial structures may reflect different timescales. Thus, despite genetic similarity, each social community should be considered as a distinct ecological unit to be conserved because they are exposed to different anthropogenic threats and occur in different ecological habitats, social structure being as important as genetic information for immediate conservation management. The estuarine community, in particular, is highly vulnerable and appropriate conservation measures are needed in order to maintain its connectivity with the adjacent, semi-enclosed coastal communities.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
5 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

26 downloads since deposited on 21 Jan 2021
6 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Evolutionary Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Oceanography
Physical Sciences > Global and Planetary Change
Life Sciences > Aquatic Science
Physical Sciences > Water Science and Technology
Physical Sciences > Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
Physical Sciences > Ocean Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords:Aquatic Science, Global and Planetary Change, Ocean Engineering, Oceanography, Water Science and Technology
Language:English
Date:14 January 2021
Deposited On:21 Jan 2021 16:52
Last Modified:24 Jun 2024 01:44
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:2296-7745
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.617540
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)