[MARMAM] Fine-Scale Population Structure of Estuarine Bottlenose Dolphins

Graham Worthy Graham.Worthy at ucf.edu
Mon Mar 24 10:08:44 PDT 2014

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

Nicole E. Browning, S.D. McCulloch, G.D. Bossart, and G.A.J. Worthy (2014)
Fine-Scale Population Structure of Estuarine Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Assessed Using Stable Isotope Ratios and Fatty Acid Signature Analyses
Marine Biology
DOI 10.1007/s00227-014-2420-z


Stable isotope ratios and fatty acid signature analyses were employed to examine the fine-scale population structure of a year-round resident population of 600-800 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida.  The IRL, a 250 km long estuary running along the central-east coast of Florida (28.0° N, 80.6° W), is comprised of the Indian River Lagoon, Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River, and St. Lucie Estuary.    Samples of skin and blubber were collected from dead stranded (n = 61, 1994-2004) and live dolphins (n = 153, 2002-2007, 2010, 2011) from throughout the IRL and surrounding environs.  Using stable isotopes (SI), dolphins could be assigned to a Mosquito Lagoon subpopulation, a St Lucie Estuary subpopulation, and an Indian River Lagoon subpopulation.  Fatty acid signature analysis (FASA) allowed for finer resolution, detecting Mosquito Lagoon and Banana River subpopulations, a separation of northern and southern IRL subpopulations, and a St Lucie Estuary subpopulation.  Differences between sexes were detectable within subpopulations using FASA but not using SI.  This may indicate that males and females are foraging in similar locations at a similar trophic level (detected using SI), but are varying in the types or proportions of specific prey (indicated by FASA).  The combination of these complementary analyses results in a powerful tool for assessing fine-scale population substructure.
Graham A.J. Worthy, Ph.D.
Provost's Distinguished Research Professor of Biology,
Hubbs-Sea World Endowed Professor of Marine Mammalogy, and
Director, Physiological Ecology and Bioenergetics Lab

Department of Biology, University of Central Florida,
4110 Libra Dr, Room BIO402A
Orlando FL 32816-2368

Graham.Worthy at ucf.edu<mailto:Graham.Worthy at ucf.edu>

407-823-4701 office
407-823-5769 FAX
skype: graham.worthy

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because
they have to say something"   Plato

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