[MARMAM] New paper on bottlenose dolphin population genetics in the North-East Atlantic

Marie Louis marielouis17 at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 30 01:26:44 PST 2014










Dear all,


We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article:

Louis M, Viricel A, Lucas T, Peltier H, Alfonsi E, Berrow S, Brownlow A, Covelo P, Dabin W, Deaville R, de Stephanis R, Gally F, Gauffier P, Penrose R, Silva MA, Guinet C and Simon-Bouhet B. 2014. Habitat-driven population structure of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in the North-East Atlantic. Molecular Ecology 23: 857-874.



Abstract
Despite no obvious barrier to gene flow, historical environmental 
processes and ecological specializations can lead to genetic 
differentiation in highly mobile animals. Ecotypes emerged in several 
large mammal species as a result of niche specializations and/or social 
organization. In the North-West Atlantic, two distinct bottlenose 
dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) ecotypes (i.e. ‘coastal’ and 
‘pelagic’) have been identified. Here, we investigated the genetic 
population structure of North-East Atlantic (NEA) bottlenose dolphins on
 a large scale through the analysis of 381 biopsy-sampled or stranded 
animals using 25 microsatellites and a 682-bp portion of the 
mitochondrial control region. We shed light on the likely origin of 
stranded animals using a carcass drift prediction model. We showed, for 
the first time, that coastal and pelagic bottlenose dolphins were highly
 differentiated in the NEA. Finer-scale population structure was found 
within the two groups. We suggest that distinct founding events followed
 by parallel adaptation may have occurred independently from a large 
Atlantic pelagic population in the two sides of the basin. Divergence 
could be maintained by philopatry possibly as a result of foraging 
specializations and social organization. As coastal environments are 
under increasing anthropogenic pressures, small and isolated populations
 might be at risk and require appropriate conservation policies to 
preserve their habitats. While genetics can be a powerful first step to 
delineate ecotypes in protected and difficult to access taxa, ecotype 
distinction should be further documented through diet studies and the 
examination of cranial skull features associated with feeding.


The article can be download from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.12653/abstract or you can email me for a copy.

Best wishes,

Marie





 		 	   		  
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