[MARMAM] Publication on Connectivity patterns of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the north-east Mediterranean

Drasko Holcer drasko.holcer at blue-world.org
Thu Oct 19 14:22:58 PDT 2023

Dear colleagues,

my co-authors and I are pleased to share our new publication in 
/Conservation Genetics:/

*Gaspari, S., Dooley, C., Shreves, K., Silva,  C.S.E., Chapman, N., 
Genov, Gonzalvo, J., Holcer, D. & Moura, A.E. 2023. Connectivity 
patterns of bottlenose dolphins (/Tursiops truncatus/) in the north-east 
Mediterranean: implications for local conservation. Conservation 
Genetics. DOI 10.1007/s10592-023-01577-4 

Full-text access is available by using the following link: 
*_https://rdcu.be/dmQur _*

Accurate description of population structure and genetic connectivity is 
essential for efficient conservation efforts. Along the European 
coastline, /Tursiops truncatus/ typically shows high site fidelity to 
relatively small areas, often semi-enclosed waters, but patterns of 
genetic connectivity among such areas are often poorly understood. In 
this study, we investigate the patterns of genetic structure and 
connectivity of /Tursiops truncatus/ in the Adriatic Sea and contiguous 
Mediterranean, using multilocus microsatellite genotypes. We focus 
particularly on areas where photo-ID studies suggest the occurrence of 
local ‘resident communities’. Patterns of geographic structure were 
identified using multivariate methods, Bayesian assignment methods, and 
analyses of relatedness. Our results are consistent with the occurrence 
of communities with high site fidelity to the Gulf of Ambracia, Croatian 
island archipelagos, and the Gulf of Trieste. Dolphins in these regions 
do not fit a model of complete panmixia, but neither do they exhibit 
multiple discrete population units. Even for the community in the Gulf 
of Ambracia, which is well separated by several population genetic 
estimates, we can unambiguously identify individual dispersal to the 
most distant area in the Northern Adriatic Sea. We suggest that the 
population structure patterns in these animals might be best described 
as a stable metapopulation and discuss the implications of such a model 
for regional conservation efforts. The critically endangered Ambracian 
sub-population is particularly well differentiated, and is therefore at 
high risk of local extinction due to relatively small size, high degree 
of isolation and exposure to several anthropogenic pressures. The exact 
geographic boundaries of individual sub-populations cannot always be 
determined due to lack of sampling and low resolution of the methods 
used. Nevertheless, our results have important implications for 
effective conservation of local communities showing strong site fidelity.

Should you need a pdf copy of the paper or if you have any questions 
please email me (drasko.holcer at blue-world.org).


Draško Holcer


*Asst.Prof. Draško Holcer, Ph.D. *


Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation
   Kaštel 24, 51551 Veli Lošinj, Croatia
*  M*: +385 91 4637424 *T*: +385 51 604666 *
   W*: Blue-World.org <http://Blue-World.org>
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