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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 643:183-195 (2020)  -  DOI:

Population genetic diversity and historical dynamics of Fraser’s dolphins Lagenodelphis hosei

Ing Chen1,7, Shin Nishida2, Lien-Siang Chou3, Tomohiko Isobe4,8, Antonio A. Mignucci-Giannoni5,6, A. Rus Hoelzel1,*

1Department of Biosciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK
2Science Education, Faculty of Education and Culture, University of Miyazaki, 1-1 Gakuen-Kibanadai-Nishi, Miyazaki, 889-2192, Japan
3Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University, No.1, Sec.4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan
4Center for Marine Environmental Studies, Ehime University, 2-5 Bunkyo Cho, Matsuyama 790-8577, Japan
5Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Centro de Conservación de Manatíes de Puerto Rico, PO Box 361715 San Juan 00936, Puerto Rico
6Conservation Medicine and Ecosystem Health, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, PO Box 334, Basseterre, St. Kitts, West Indies
7Present address: Division of Science, Yale-NUS College, 16 College Avenue West, Singapore, 138527, Singapore
8Present address: National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, 305-8506, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Marine organisms face relatively few barriers to gene flow, and yet even highly mobile species such as dolphins often show population structure over regional geographic scales. Understanding the processes that promote this pattern of differentiation helps us understand the evolutionary radiation of this group, and to promote more effective measures for conservation. Here we report the first population genetic study of Fraser’s dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei (Fraser, 1956), a species that was not recognized by the scientific communities until the early 1970s. We use 18 microsatellite DNA loci and 1 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) locus to compare 112 Fraser’s dolphins collected in various locations, mainly from the waters off Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines, but also including samples from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Our results indicate differentiation between populations in waters off Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines, and support the findings from earlier morphological assessments for differentiation between Japanese and Philippine waters. Small sample sets also show likely differentiation between other regions in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. Moreover, neutrality tests and mismatch analysis based on mtDNA data indicate that the populations in the western North Pacific Ocean have expanded demographically and spatially, possibly since the latest global deglaciation, when sea levels and global temperatures started to rise.

KEY WORDS: Population structure · Marine mammal · Northwest Pacific Ocean · Conservation · Climate change

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Cite this article as: Chen I, Nishida S, Chou LS, Isobe T, Mignucci-Giannoni AA, Hoelzel AR (2020) Population genetic diversity and historical dynamics of Fraser’s dolphins Lagenodelphis hosei. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 643:183-195.

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