[MARMAM] New Publication: "Demography and genetics suggest reversal of dolphin source-sink dynamics, with implications for conservation"

Oliver Manlik o.manlik at unsw.edu.au
Sun Nov 18 06:49:50 PST 2018

Dear colleagues,

on behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to announce the following publication on population structure, gene flow and dispersal of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) populations:

Manlik O, Chabanne D, Daniel C, Bejder L, Allen SJ, Sherwin WB. 2018. Demography and genetics suggest reversal of dolphin source-sink dynamics, with implications for conservation. Marine Mammal Science, doi:10.1111/mms.12555.


In short:

Our analysis of dolphin genes has revealed information about their past migrations, showing just how crucial migrants might be for other populations. The new study, published in the journal Marine Mammal Science, is an illustration of how modern genetics can use information from genes to gain a glimpse into the past, unravelling past migration patterns of animals, and therefore help inform the future.


The forecast for the viability of populations depends upon metapopulation dynamics: the combination of reproduction and mortality within populations, as well as dispersal between populations. This study focuses on an Indo‐Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) population in coastal waters near Bunbury, Western Australia. Demographic modeling of this population suggested that recent reproductive output was not sufficient to offset mortality. Migrants from adjacent populations might make up this deficit, so that Bunbury would act as a “sink,” or net recipient population. We investigated historical dispersal in and out of Bunbury, using microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA of 193 dolphins across five study locations along the southwestern Australian coastline. Our results indicated limited gene flow between Bunbury and adjacent populations. The data also revealed a net‐dispersal from Bunbury to neighboring populations, with microsatellites showing that more than twice as many individuals per generation dispersed out of Bunbury than into Bunbury. Therefore, in historic times, Bunbury appears to have acted as a source population, supporting nearby populations. In combination with the prior finding that Bunbury is currently not producing surplus offspring to support adjacent populations, this potential reversal of source‐sink dynamics may have serious conservation implications for Bunbury and other populations nearby.

For questions or details about publication feel free to contact me at: oliver.manlik at uaue.ac.ae (or: o.manlik at unsw.edu.au)

Cheers, Oliver Manlik

Dr. Oliver Manlik
Conjoint Associate Lecturer
Ecology and Evolution Research Centre
Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES)
University of New South Wales
Sydney, NSW 2052

E-mail: o.manlik at unsw.edu.au<mailto:o.manlik at unsw.edu.au>
<http://www.bees.unsw.edu.au/oliver-manlik>Assistant Professor,
Biology Department, College of Science,
United Arab Emirate University, UAE

E-mail: oliver.manlik at uaeu.ac.ae<mailto:oliver.manlik at uaeu.ac.ae>

Researchgate Profile<https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Oliver_Manlik> <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Oliver_Manlik>
Twitter: @OManlik<https://twitter.com/omanlik?lang=en>

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