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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Genetic connectivity of a coral reef ecosystem predator: the population genetic structure and evolutionary history of the Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi)

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Bernard, Andrea M. [1] ; Horn, Rebekah L. [1, 2] ; Chapman, Demian D. [3] ; Feldheim, Kevin A. [4] ; Garla, Ricardo C. [5] ; Brooks, Edd J. [6] ; Gore, Mauvis A. [7] ; Shivji, Mahmood S. [1, 2]
Total Authors: 8
[1] Nova Southeastern Univ, Halmos Coll Nat Sci & Oceanog, Save Our Seas Shark Res Ctr, Dania, FL 33004 - USA
[2] Nova Southeastern Univ, Guy Harvey Res Inst, Halmos Coll Nat Sci & Oceanog, Dania, FL - USA
[3] SUNY Stony Brook, Sch Marine & Atmospher Sci, Stony Brook, NY 11794 - USA
[4] Field Museum Nat Hist, Pritzker Lab Mol Systemat & Evolut, Chicago, IL 60605 - USA
[5] Univ Fed Rio Grande do Norte, Dept Bot Ecol & Zool, Natal, RN - Brazil
[6] Cape Eleuthera Inst, Shark Res & Conservat Program, Eleuthera - Bahamas
[7] Marine Conservat Int, South Queensferry - Scotland
Total Affiliations: 7
Document type: Journal article
Source: Journal of Biogeography; v. 44, n. 11, p. 2488-2500, NOV 2017.
Web of Science Citations: 4

Aim: The Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) is one of few extant reef sharks inhabiting the Atlantic Ocean. Its variability in movements across habitat types suggests the possibility of a complex genetic population structure. Here, we use mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to investigate the genetic connectivity of the Caribbean reef shark across contemporary and evolutionary time-scales and relate our findings to the ecology of this understudied species. Location: Tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean. Methods: Samples were obtained from 216 individuals from six western Atlantic and Caribbean locations. Individuals were genotyped at seven nuclear microsatellite DNA loci and sequenced at two mitochondrial (control region {[}CR]; NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 {[}ND4]) and one nuclear locus (lactate dehydrogenase {[}LDH]). Analyses to resolve the population genetic structure and evolutionary history of this species were adopted. Results: Sequencing of the CR (1,068 bp, n = 216), ND4 (741 bp, n = 213) and LDH (258 bp, n = 165) loci, resolved 11, 8 and 13 unique haplotypes (or alleles), respectively. Overall, Caribbean reef sharks showed low levels of genetic diversity and most marker sets identified strong genetic differences (F-ST and Phi(ST)) between sharks sampled in Brazil versus all other locations (msat F-ST > 0.017; CR-ND4 Phi(ST) > 0.013). Mitochondrial DNA showed evidence of increased genetic partitioning among western North Atlantic sampling sites, although widespread haplotype sharing (similar to 85%-92%) and a shallow population history were found. Main Conclusions: Findings of genetic differentiation are concordant with previous movement studies showing residency and/or site-fidelity to specific locations by individuals. However, similar to other reef shark studies, we found that the level of genetic connectivity among populations was context dependent-i.e., sharks occupying isolated habitats showed greater genetic differentiation compared with those sharks occupying semi-isolated or continuous reef habitats. Furthermore, low genetic diversity and a shallow mitochondrial population history were found, suggesting historical demographic fluctuations, including population collapse and more recent expansions. (AU)