[MARMAM] New article on bottlenose dolphin population demographic history, ecology and morphology in the North-east Atlantic

Marie Louis marielouis17 at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 8 10:50:07 PDT 2014

Dear all,

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

Louis M., Fontaine M. C., Spitz J., Schlund E., Dabin W., Deaville R., Caurant F., Cherel Y., Guinet C. and Simon-Bouhet B. 2014. Ecological opportunities and specializations shaped genetic divergence in a highly mobile marine top predator. Proc. R. Soc. B 281(1795): 20141558. (doi:

Environmental conditions can shape genetic and morphological divergence.
 Release of new habitats during historical environmental
                     changes was a major driver of evolutionary 
diversification. Here, forces shaping population structure and ecotype 
                     (‘pelagic’ and ‘coastal’) of bottlenose dolphins in
 the North-east Atlantic were investigated using complementary 
                     and ecological approaches. Inference of population 
demographic history using approximate Bayesian computation indicated 
                     coastal populations were likely founded by the 
Atlantic pelagic population after the Last Glacial Maxima probably as a 
                     of newly available coastal ecological niches. 
Pelagic dolphins from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea likely 
                     during a period of high productivity in the 
Mediterranean Sea. Genetic differentiation between coastal and pelagic 
                     may be maintained by niche specializations, as 
indicated by stable isotope and stomach content analyses, and social 
                     The two ecotypes were only weakly morphologically 
segregated in contrast to other parts of the World Ocean. This may be 
                     to weak contrasts between coastal and pelagic 
habitats and/or a relatively recent divergence. We suggest that 
ecological opportunity
                     to specialize is a major driver of genetic and 
morphological divergence. Combining genetic, ecological and 
morphological approaches
                     is essential to understanding the population 
structure of mobile and cryptic species.

The article can be download from: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1795/20141558.abstract or you can email me for a copy.

Best wishes,


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