[MARMAM] New publication - a guide to combining multiple lines of evidence to evaluate population structure

Karen Martien - NOAA Federal karen.martien at noaa.gov
Tue Dec 10 08:22:14 PST 2019

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the following publication:

Martien*,* Karen K., Aimée R. Lang, Barbara L. Taylor, Patricia E. Rosel,
Samantha E. Simmons, Erin M. Oleson, Peter L. Boveng, and M. Bradley
Hanson.  2019.  The DIP delineation handbook: a guide to using multiple
lines of evidence to delineate demographically independent populations of
marine mammals.  NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SWFSC-622.  135pp.

In the handbook, we review 11 types of data, which we term 'lines of
evidence,' that can be used to evaluate population structure: 1)
morphology, 2) genetics, 3) movements, 4) distributional hiatuses, 5)
contaminants, 6) stable isotopes and fatty acids, 7) life history, 8)
trends in abundance, 9) habitat, 10) association data, and 11) acoustics.
For each of these lines of evidence, we discuss their strengths and
weaknesses for evaluating structure and give examples of how they have been

The handbook focuses on the delineation of Demographically Independent
Populations (DIPs), which is the level of population structure that is
relevant to many management paradigms, including the U.S. Marine Mammal
Protection Act (MMPA).  Because the availability and utility of different
lines of evidence varies among species, we summarize the data that are
available for the currently designated MMPA stocks so as document some of
the factors that limit our ability to collect robust data sets for certain
groups of species.

Finally, we discuss Structured Expert Decision Making as a means of
integrating multiple different data types and handling uncertainty when
delineating DIPs for management purposes.

The handbook is intended to serve as a reference at all stages of DIP
delineation, from prioritizing and planning research, to reviewing research
results, to evaluating proposed DIPs. Though the handbook began as part of
an effort to increase consistency and transparency in stock delineation under
the MMPA, we believe that it will have wide applicability to both academic
and applied studies of population structure at scales relevant to

The handbook can be downloaded here:


Karen K. Martien, Ph.D.
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
8901 La Jolla Shores Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
Phone: 858-546-7058
Fax: 858-546-7003
Karen.Martien at noaa.gov
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