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Assessment of genetic population structure, promiscuity, and paternity in free-ranging Atlantic spotted dolphins, Stenella frontalis, in the Bahamas

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Date Issued:
2008
Summary:
This study investigated a resident community of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) on Little Bahama Bank (LBB) in the Bahamas utilizing a noninvasive molecular approach. Genetic template material was collected and extracted from fecal material of S. frontalis. Fine-scale population structure was found within LBB according to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellites (Fst = 0.25317, P < 0.0001 and Fst = 0.04491, P < 0.0001, respectively). Three main social clusters (North, Central, South/Roam) exist on LBB and all clusters were found to be genetically distinct according to microsatellite analyses. Mitochondrial haplotypes revealed North and South/Roam were not differentiated, but Central was different from both. When separated by sex, males were less genetically structured than females. Males showed no evidence of structure according to Ost or Rst.
Title: Assessment of genetic population structure, promiscuity, and paternity in free-ranging Atlantic spotted dolphins, Stenella frontalis, in the Bahamas.
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Name(s): Green, Michelle L.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Biological Sciences
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: multipart monograph
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: xiii, 127 p. : ill. (some col.).
Language(s): English
Summary: This study investigated a resident community of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) on Little Bahama Bank (LBB) in the Bahamas utilizing a noninvasive molecular approach. Genetic template material was collected and extracted from fecal material of S. frontalis. Fine-scale population structure was found within LBB according to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellites (Fst = 0.25317, P < 0.0001 and Fst = 0.04491, P < 0.0001, respectively). Three main social clusters (North, Central, South/Roam) exist on LBB and all clusters were found to be genetically distinct according to microsatellite analyses. Mitochondrial haplotypes revealed North and South/Roam were not differentiated, but Central was different from both. When separated by sex, males were less genetically structured than females. Males showed no evidence of structure according to Ost or Rst.
Summary: Females of all clusters were differentiated according to microsatellites whereas mtDNA revealed the same pattern in females as was seen for the total population. The structuring patterns of the sexes clearly indicate a pattern of male dispersal and female philopatry for the LBB population. Genetic investigation of mating revealed patterns in the mating system of S. frontalis on LBB. Genotypes of females and offspring were analyzed and revealed that more than two males were required to explain the progeny arrays, indicating promiscuous mating among females. In addition, paternity assessment assigned seven males as fathers to ten of 29 mother-calf pairs. A pattern of reproductive skew according to age was revealed because reproductively successful males were in the oldest age class at the estimated time of conception of the calves.
Summary: Patterns in social cluster mating revealed that males from the Central cluster sired offspring with females from both the Central and North clusters, while Roaming males sired offspring with South and Central females indicating that males mate within their social cluster or with females from the next closest cluster. The study has important implications for cetacean research, specifically delphinids. Fine-scale population structure and mating patterns of male and female S. frontalis were revealed through noninvasive methodology presenting a valuable genetic framework with which to support ongoing investigations of life history, behavior, communication and social structure.
Identifier: 231690371 (oclc), 58004 (digitool), FADT58004 (IID), fau:4290 (fedora)
Note(s): by Michelle Lynn Green.
Vita.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2008.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, FL : 2008 Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Dolphins -- Bahamas -- Behavior
Social behavior in animals -- Bahamas
Population genetics
Atlantic spotted dolphin -- Bahamas
Dolphins -- Bahamas -- Geographical distribution
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/58004
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU