ESR 37:45-54 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00912

Mixed-marker approach suggests maternal philopatry and sex-biased behaviours of narrow sawfish Anoxypristis cuspidata

Madeline E. Green1,2,3,*, Blanche R. D’Anastasi3,4, Jean-Paul A. Hobbs5, Kevin Feldheim6, Rory McAuley7, Stirling Peverell8, Jason Stapley8, Grant Johnson9, Sharon A. Appleyard10, William T. White10, Colin A. Simpfendorfer1, Lynne van Herwerden1,3

1Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture & College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4814, Australia
2Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
3College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4814, Australia
4AIMS@JCU, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
5Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia 6102, Australia
6Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution, The Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois 60605, USA
7Western Australian Government, Department of Fisheries, Western Australia 6850, Australia
8Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Northern Fisheries Centre, Queensland 4000, Australia
9Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Northern Territory Government 0828, Australia
10CSIRO National Research Collections Australia; CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart 7001, Australia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The narrow sawfish Anoxypristis cuspidata belongs to the most endangered family of chondrichthyan fishes, the sawfishes (Pristidae). This species has undergone significant declines in geographic range and abundance due to anthropogenic activities including fishing and habitat destruction. Very little is known of adult movements within its distribution. In order to better manage and protect this endangered species, understanding patterns of habitat use, connectivity and behaviour is important. Using a combination of partial mitochondrial sequences (control region [CR] and NADH dehydrogenase 4 [ND4]) and nuclear markers (microsatellites), this study assessed the genetic population structure of A. cuspidata in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Significant population structuring using mitochondrial DNA was found between the east Australian coast, Gulf of Papua and Gulf of Carpentaria (using concatenated CR and ND4 markers) (analysis of molecular variance [AMOVA], ΦST = 0.082, p = <0.001). In contrast, no population structure was evident across northern Australia using nuclear microsatellite loci (FST = 0.012, p = 1.000). Our results suggest that a combination of historic genetic drift, maternal natal philopatry and possible male-biased dispersal likely drive the genetic patterns observed. Given the endangered status and lack of knowledge for A. cuspidata, this study presents important insights that may be used to inform management efforts.


KEY WORDS: Pristidae · Genetics · Indo-Pacific · Mitochondrial DNA · Microsatellites


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Cite this article as: Green ME, D’Anastasi BR, Hobbs JPA, Feldheim K and others (2018) Mixed-marker approach suggests maternal philopatry and sex-biased behaviours of narrow sawfish Anoxypristis cuspidata. Endang Species Res 37:45-54. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00912

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