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Population structure as revealed by mtDNA and microsatellites in northern fur seals, Callorhinus ursinus, throughout their range.

Dickerson BR, Ream RR, Vignieri SN, Bentzen P - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: Using microsatellite and mitochondrial loci, we examined population structure in NFS throughout their range.We found only weak population genetic structure among breeding islands including significant F(ST) and Phi(ST) values between eastern and western Pacific islands.We conclude that insufficient time since rapid population expansion events (both post glacial and following the cessation of intense harvest pressure) mixed with low levels of contemporary migration have resulted in an absence of genetic structure across the entire northern fur seal range.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, Seattle, Washington, United States of America. Bobette.Dickerson@noaa.gov

ABSTRACT

Background: The northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus; NFS) is a widely distributed pinniped that has been shown to exhibit a high degree of philopatry to islands, breeding areas on an island, and even to specific segments of breeding areas. This level of philopatry could conceivably lead to highly genetically divergent populations. However, northern fur seals have the potential for dispersal across large distances and have experienced repeated rapid population expansions following glacial retreat and the more recent cessation of intensive harvest pressure.

Methodology/principal findings: Using microsatellite and mitochondrial loci, we examined population structure in NFS throughout their range. We found only weak population genetic structure among breeding islands including significant F(ST) and Phi(ST) values between eastern and western Pacific islands.

Conclusions: We conclude that insufficient time since rapid population expansion events (both post glacial and following the cessation of intense harvest pressure) mixed with low levels of contemporary migration have resulted in an absence of genetic structure across the entire northern fur seal range.

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Distribution of northern fur seal breeding sites.
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pone-0010671-g001: Distribution of northern fur seal breeding sites.

Mentions: The northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) is a widely distributed member of the family Otariidae with a pelagic distribution across the North Pacific Ocean from the Sea of Okhotsk to the northern Bering Sea and as far south as 34° N [1], [2]. Breeding among this species occurs on a limited number of islands within this range: Robben Island, the Kuril Islands (Lovushki and Srednev), and the Commander Islands (Bering and Medny) in Russia; Bogoslof Island and the Pribilof Islands (St. George and St. Paul) in Alaska; and San Miguel Island in California (Figure 1). Most of these islands contain several distinct breeding areas. Individuals of this long-lived species exhibit a predictable annual pattern of seasonal pelagic migration from the islands into the North Pacific in late fall, returning to breed and rear young in late spring and throughout the summer [2].


Population structure as revealed by mtDNA and microsatellites in northern fur seals, Callorhinus ursinus, throughout their range.

Dickerson BR, Ream RR, Vignieri SN, Bentzen P - PLoS ONE (2010)

Distribution of northern fur seal breeding sites.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2871788&req=5

pone-0010671-g001: Distribution of northern fur seal breeding sites.
Mentions: The northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) is a widely distributed member of the family Otariidae with a pelagic distribution across the North Pacific Ocean from the Sea of Okhotsk to the northern Bering Sea and as far south as 34° N [1], [2]. Breeding among this species occurs on a limited number of islands within this range: Robben Island, the Kuril Islands (Lovushki and Srednev), and the Commander Islands (Bering and Medny) in Russia; Bogoslof Island and the Pribilof Islands (St. George and St. Paul) in Alaska; and San Miguel Island in California (Figure 1). Most of these islands contain several distinct breeding areas. Individuals of this long-lived species exhibit a predictable annual pattern of seasonal pelagic migration from the islands into the North Pacific in late fall, returning to breed and rear young in late spring and throughout the summer [2].

Bottom Line: Using microsatellite and mitochondrial loci, we examined population structure in NFS throughout their range.We found only weak population genetic structure among breeding islands including significant F(ST) and Phi(ST) values between eastern and western Pacific islands.We conclude that insufficient time since rapid population expansion events (both post glacial and following the cessation of intense harvest pressure) mixed with low levels of contemporary migration have resulted in an absence of genetic structure across the entire northern fur seal range.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, Seattle, Washington, United States of America. Bobette.Dickerson@noaa.gov

ABSTRACT

Background: The northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus; NFS) is a widely distributed pinniped that has been shown to exhibit a high degree of philopatry to islands, breeding areas on an island, and even to specific segments of breeding areas. This level of philopatry could conceivably lead to highly genetically divergent populations. However, northern fur seals have the potential for dispersal across large distances and have experienced repeated rapid population expansions following glacial retreat and the more recent cessation of intensive harvest pressure.

Methodology/principal findings: Using microsatellite and mitochondrial loci, we examined population structure in NFS throughout their range. We found only weak population genetic structure among breeding islands including significant F(ST) and Phi(ST) values between eastern and western Pacific islands.

Conclusions: We conclude that insufficient time since rapid population expansion events (both post glacial and following the cessation of intense harvest pressure) mixed with low levels of contemporary migration have resulted in an absence of genetic structure across the entire northern fur seal range.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus