[MARMAM] New publication on humpback whale genetic structure across the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans

Kershaw, Francine fkershaw at nrdc.org
Mon Jan 9 09:26:52 PST 2017

Dear MARMAM community,

On behalf of my coauthors, I am pleased to announce a new publication on humpback whale population genetic structure across the South Atlantic and western and northern Indian Oceans in the journal Molecular Ecology.

Multiple processes drive genetic structure of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) populations across spatial scales
Francine Kershaw, Inês Carvalho, Jacqueline Loo, Cristina Pomilla, Peter B. Best, Ken P. Findlay, Salvatore Cerchio, Tim Collins, Marcia H. Engel, Gianna Minton, Peter Ersts, Jaco Barendse, P. G. H. Kotze, Yvette Razafindrakoto, Solange Ngouessono, Michael Meÿer, Meredith Thornton and Howard C. Rosenbaum
Version of Record online: 8 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/mec.13943

Elucidating patterns of population structure for species with complex life histories, and disentangling the processes driving such patterns, remains a significant analytical challenge. Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) populations display complex genetic structures that have not been fully resolved at all spatial scales. We generated a data set of nuclear markers for 3575 samples spanning the seven breeding stocks and substocks found in the South Atlantic and western and northern Indian Oceans. For the total sample, and males and females separately, we assessed genetic diversity, tested for genetic differentiation between putative populations and isolation by distance, estimated the number of genetic clusters without a priori population information and estimated rates of gene flow using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian approaches. At the ocean basin scale, structure is governed by geographical distance (IBD P < 0.05) and female fidelity to breeding areas, in line with current understanding of the drivers of broadscale population structure. Consistent with previous studies, the Arabian Sea breeding stock was highly genetically differentiated (FST 0.034-0.161; P < 0.01 for all comparisons). However, the breeding stock boundary between west South Africa and east Africa was more porous than expected based on genetic differentiation, cluster and geneflow analyses. Instances of male fidelity to breeding areas and relatively high rates of dispersal for females were also observed between the three substocks in the western Indian Ocean. The relationships between demographic units and current management boundaries may have ramifications for assessments of the status and continued protections of populations still in recovery from commercial whaling.

If you would like a copy of the PDF, please contact fkershaw at nrdc.org<mailto:fkershaw at nrdc.org>.

With best wishes,


Marine Mammals Science Fellow

NEW YORK, NY 10011
T 212.727.4564
c 917.450.0994

Please save paper.Think before printing.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20170109/46910bc6/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list