Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Molecular ecology meets remote sensing:environmental drivers to population structure of humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Per Berggren


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Genetic analyses of population structure can be placed in explicit environmental contexts if appropriate environmental data are available. Here, we use high-coverage and highresolution oceanographic and genetic sequence data to assess population structure patterns and their potential environmental influences for humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA data from 94 dolphins from the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Oman, employing frequencybased and maximum-likelihood algorithms to assess population structure and migration patterns. The genetic data were combined with 13 years of remote sensing oceanographic data of variables known to influence cetacean dispersal and population structure. Our analyses show strong and highly significant genetic structure between all putative populations, except for those in South Africa and Mozambique. Interestingly, the oceanographic data display marked environmental heterogeneity between all sampling areas and a degree of overlap between South Africa and Mozambique. Our combined analyses therefore suggest the occurrence of genetically isolated populations of humpback dolphins in areas that are environmentally distinct. This study highlights the utility of molecular tools in combination with highresolution and high-coverage environmental data to address questions not only pertaining to genetic population structure, but also to relevant ecological processes in marine species. Heredity advance online publication, 23 March 2011; doi:10.1038/hdy.2011.21

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mendez M, Subramaniam A, Collins T, Minton G, Baldwin R, Berggren P, Särnblad A, Amir OA, Peddemors VM, Karczmarski L, Guissamulo A, Rosenbaum HC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Heredity

Year: 2011

Volume: 107

Issue: 4

Pages: 349-361

Print publication date: 23/03/2011

ISSN (print): 0018-067X

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2540

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2011.21


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric