Global phylogeography of the leatherback turtle ( Dermochelys coriacea )

  • Dutton P
  • Bowen B
  • Owens D
 et al. 
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Abstract

See, stats, and : https : / / www . researchgate . net / publication / 228594831 Phylogeography (Dermochelys) Article DOI : 10 . 1017 / S0952836999007116 CITATIONS 123 READS 436 5 , including : Brian University 241 , 618 SEE Ana . Barragán Comisión 4 SEE All - text , letting . Available : Brian Retrieved : 10 Abstract Analyses of mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region sequences from 175 leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea from 10 nesting colonies revealed shallow phylogenetic structuring of maternal lineages on a global scale . Eleven haplotypes were observed , and mean estimated sequence divergence , p = 0 . 00581 , is much lower than the deepest nodes reported in global mtDNA surveys of the green turtle Chelonia mydas , loggerhead Caretta caretta , and ridley turtles Lepidochelys spp . The leatherback turtle is the product of an evolutionary trajectory originating at least 100 million years ago , yet the intraspeci®c phylogeny recorded in mitochondrial lineages may trace back less than 900 000 years . The gene genealogy and global distribution of mtDNA haplotypes indicate that leatherbacks may have radiated from a narrow refugium , possibly in the Indian±Paci®c during the early Pleistocene glaciation . Analysis of haplotype frequencies revealed that nesting populations are strongly subdivided globally (F ST = 0 . 415) , and within ocean basins (F ST = 0 . 203±0 . 253) , despite the leatherback ' s highly migratory nature . Within the Atlantic signi®cant differences in haplotype frequency distributions and Nm values < 2 are observed in pairwise comparisons between St . Croix (U . S . Virgin Islands) and mainland Caribbean populations , and between Trinidad and the same mainland populations . These ®ndings provisionally support the natal homing hypothesis for leatherback turtles , although several proximal nesting populations were indistinguishable , suggesting recent colonization or less precise natal homing behaviour than documented for other marine turtle species . The evidence of natal homing , manifested on ecological time scales , may be erased in some populations by rapid rookery turnover resulting from climatic ¯uctuation and the ephemeral nature of nesting habitat on a geological time scale . The evolutionary effective population size (N e) is estimated from mtDNA data to be between 45 000 and 60 000 , a value that exceeds current global census estimates of 26 000 to 43 000 adult females .

Author-supplied keywords

  • conservation genetics
  • leatherback turtles
  • mitochondrial DNA
  • natal homing
  • phylogeography

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Authors

  • Peter H Dutton

  • Brian W Bowen

  • David W Owens

  • Ana Barragan

  • Scott K Davis

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