Stranding collections indicate broad-scale connectivity across the range of a pelagic marine predator, the Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus)

Gose, M.-A. et al. (2023) Stranding collections indicate broad-scale connectivity across the range of a pelagic marine predator, the Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus). ICES Journal of Marine Science, 80(4), pp. 1120-1128. (doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsad050)

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Understanding the extent of population genetic connectivity in highly mobile marine species is vital for delineating management units. However, obtaining samples for generating genetic data is challenging for species inhabiting inaccessible pelagic waters. As a result, management strategies do not always align with underlying population biology. Marine strandings provide an accessible and cost-effective sample source for research on elusive cetaceans and can be used collaboratively among stranding networks to generate ecosystem-wide population genetic assessments. Here, we used samples collected from strandings and free-ranging individuals across the North Atlantic to investigate population structure, genetic diversity, and individual relatedness in the Atlantic white-sided dolphin (AWSD; Lagenorhynchus acutus), a widely distributed marine predator. Mitochondrial DNA sequences and nuclear DNA single-nucleotide polymorphisms showed a complete lack of population differentiation across the species’ range, implying an unusual pattern of strong connectivity. No differences in genetic diversity among geographic regions and weak within-group relatedness further support the existence of species-wide panmixia in AWSD. This study emphasises the value of long-term stranding collections for cetacean research and has important implications for AWSD conservation management.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding was provided through a Ph.D. studentship from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:ten Doeschate, Mariel and Davison, Mr Nick and Brownlow, Dr Andrew
Creator Roles:
Brownlow, A.Conceptualization, Project administration, Resources, Supervision, Writing – review and editing
ten Doeschate, M.Resources
Davison, N.Resources, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Gose, M.-A., Humble, E., Brownlow, A., Mikkelsen, B., Loftus, C., Wall, D., Rogan, E., ten Doeschate, M., Davison, N., Ogden, R., and Grant, W. S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:ICES Journal of Marine Science
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1095-9289
Published Online:28 March 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2023
First Published:First published in ICES Journal of Marine Science 80(4):1120-1128
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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