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Climate change and the molecular ecology of arctic marine mammals

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Date Issued:
Title: Climate change and the molecular ecology of arctic marine mammals.
Name(s): O'Corry-Crowe, Gregory, creator
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Article
Issuance: single unit
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: The Ecological Society of America
Extent: 22 p.
Physical Description: pdf
Language(s): English
Identifier: 1055929 (digitool), FADT1055929 (IID), fau:5451 (fedora), 10.1890/06-0795.1 (doi)
Note(s): Key to predicting likely consequences of future climate change for Arctic marine mammals is developing a detailed understanding of how these species use their environment today and how they were affected by past climate-induced environmental change. Genetic analyses are uniquely placed to address these types of questions. Molecular genetic approaches are being used to determine distribution and migration patterns, dispersal and breeding behavior, population structure and abundance over time, and the effects of past and present climate change in Arctic marine mammals. A review of published studies revealed that population subdivision, dispersal, and gene flow in Arctic marine mammals was shaped primarily by evolutionary history, geography, sea ice, and philopatry to predictable, seasonally available resources. A meta-analysis of data from 38 study units across seven species found significant relationships between neutral genetic diversity and population size and climate region, revealing that small, isolated subarctic populations tend to harbor lower diversity than larger Arctic populations. A few small populations had substantially lower diversity than others. By contrast, other small populations retain substantial neutral diversity despite extensive population declines in the 19th and 20th centuries. The evolutionary and contemporary perspectives gained from these studies can be used to model the consequences of different climate projections for individual behavior and population structure and ultimately individual fitness and population viability.
Copyright by the Ecological Society of America and available at This article may be cited as O’Curry‐Crowe, Gregory. (2008) Climate change and the molecular ecology of arctic marine mammals. Ecological Applications, 18(2) S56‐S76.
Florida Atlantic University. Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute contribution #1792.
Subject(s): Marine mammals --Arctic regions.
Wildlife management --Arctic regions.
Mammal populations --Arctic regions.
Molecular ecology.
Climatic changes --Arctic regions.
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Restrictions on Access: ©2008 The Ecological Society of America
Host Institution: FAU