Population genetics of Australian white sharks reveals fine-scale spatial structure, transoceanic dispersal events and low effective population sizes

Blower, Dean C., Pandolfi, John M., Bruce, Barry D., Gomez-Cabrera, Maria del C. and Ovenden, Jennifer R. (2012) Population genetics of Australian white sharks reveals fine-scale spatial structure, transoceanic dispersal events and low effective population sizes. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 455 229-244. doi:10.3354/meps09659


Author Blower, Dean C.
Pandolfi, John M.
Bruce, Barry D.
Gomez-Cabrera, Maria del C.
Ovenden, Jennifer R.
Title Population genetics of Australian white sharks reveals fine-scale spatial structure, transoceanic dispersal events and low effective population sizes
Journal name Marine Ecology-Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
1616-1599
Publication date 2012-05-30
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps09659
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 455
Start page 229
End page 244
Total pages 16
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
1104 Aquatic Science
2303 Ecology
Abstract Despite international protection of white sharks Carcharodon carcharias, important conservation parameters such as abundance, population structure and genetic diversity are largely unknown. The tissue of 97 predominately juvenile white sharks sampled from spatially distant eastern and southwestern Australian coastlines was sequenced for the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and genotyped with 6 nuclear-encoded microsatellite loci. MtDNA population structure was found between the eastern and southwestern coasts (FST = 0.142, p < 0.0001), implying female reproductive philopatry. This concurs with recent satellite and acoustic tracking findings which suggest the sustained presence of discrete east coast nursery areas. Furthermore, population subdivision was found between the same regions with biparentally inherited micro - satellite markers (FST = 0.009, p < 0.05), suggesting that males may also exhibit some degree of reproductive philopatry; 5 sharks captured along the east coast had mtDNA haplotypes that resembled western Indian Ocean sharks more closely than Australian/New Zealand sharks, suggesting that transoceanic dispersal, or migration resulting in breeding, may occur sporadically. Our most robust estimate of contemporary genetic effective population size was low and close to thresholds at which adaptive potential may be lost. For a variety of reasons, these contemporary estimates were at least 1, possibly 2, orders of magnitude below our historical effective size estimates. Population decline could expose these genetically isolated populations to detrimental genetic effects. Regional Australian white shark conservation management units should be implemented until genetic population structure, size and diversity can be investigated in more detail.
Keyword Carcharodon carcharias
Population structure
Philopatry
Effective population size
Population genetics
Conservation
Nursery areas
Reproductive strategy
Sex-Biased Dispersal
Linkage Disequilibrium
Carcharodon-Carcharias
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Online publication date: May 30, 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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