Structure and phylogeography of two tropical predators, spinner (Stenella longirostris) and pantropical spotted (S. attenuata) dolphins, from SNP data
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Structure and phylogeography of two tropical predators, spinner (Stenella longirostris) and pantropical spotted (S. attenuata) dolphins, from SNP data
  • Published Date:

    2018

  • Source:
    Royal Society Open Science, 5(4), 1-20
Filetype[PDF-1.57 MB]


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  • Description:
    Little is known about global patterns of genetic connectivity in pelagic dolphins, including how circumtropical pelagic dolphins spread globally following the rapid and recent radiation of the subfamily delphininae. In this study, we tested phylogeographic hypotheses for two circumtropical species, the spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) and the pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata), using more than 3000 nuclear DNA single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in each species. Analyses for population structure indicated significant genetic differentiation between almost all subspecies and populations in both species. Bayesian phylogeographic analyses of spinner dolphins showed deep divergence between Indo-Pacific, Atlantic and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) lineages. Despite high morphological variation, our results show very close relationships between endemic ETP spinner subspecies in relation to global diversity. The dwarf spinner dolphin is a monophyletic subspecies nested within a major clade of pantropical spinner dolphins from the Indian and western Pacific Ocean populations. Population-level division among the dwarf spinner dolphins was detected—with the northern Australia population being very different from that in Indonesia. In contrast to spinner dolphins, the major boundary for spotted dolphins is between offshore and coastal habitats in the ETP, supporting the current subspecies-level taxonomy. Comparing these species underscores the different scale at which population structure can arise, even in species that are similar in habitat (i.e. pelagic) and distribution.
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PubMed:29765639
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