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Combined genetic and telemetry data reveal high rates of gene flow, migration, and long-distance dispersal potential in Arctic ringed seals (Pusa hispida).

Martinez-Bakker ME, Sell SK, Swanson BJ, Kelly BP, Tallmon DA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Seasonal movements and use of sea ice were determined for 27 seals tracked via satellite telemetry.We found that ringed seals disperse on a pan-Arctic scale and both males and females may migrate long distances during the summer months when sea ice extent is minimal.Gene flow among Arctic breeding sites and between the Arctic and the Baltic Sea subspecies was high; these two subspecies are interconnected as are breeding sites within the Arctic subspecies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America ; Biology and Marine Biology Program, University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau, Alaska, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Ringed seals (Pusa hispida) are broadly distributed in seasonally ice covered seas, and their survival and reproductive success is intricately linked to sea ice and snow. Climatic warming is diminishing Arctic snow and sea ice and threatens to endanger ringed seals in the foreseeable future. We investigated the population structure and connectedness within and among three subspecies: Arctic (P. hispida hispida), Baltic (P. hispida botnica), and Lake Saimaa (P. hispida saimensis) ringed seals to assess their capacity to respond to rapid environmental changes. We consider (a) the geographical scale of migration, (b) use of sea ice, and (c) the amount of gene flow between subspecies. Seasonal movements and use of sea ice were determined for 27 seals tracked via satellite telemetry. Additionally, population genetic analyses were conducted using 354 seals representative of each subspecies and 11 breeding sites. Genetic analyses included sequences from two mitochondrial regions and genotypes of 9 microsatellite loci. We found that ringed seals disperse on a pan-Arctic scale and both males and females may migrate long distances during the summer months when sea ice extent is minimal. Gene flow among Arctic breeding sites and between the Arctic and the Baltic Sea subspecies was high; these two subspecies are interconnected as are breeding sites within the Arctic subspecies.

Show MeSH
Seasonal localization of ringed seals.The monthly localization of 27 ringed seals measured as the distance from their breeding/capture site. Note, the log10 scale of the y-axis. Data are uniquely colored for each seal and a smoothing spline was fit for each individual for which we had at least four months of data. Nine adults were found >400 km from their breeding site between the months of the April and November. In the winter months of December-March, individuals were located within 100 km of their breeding location.
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pone-0077125-g001: Seasonal localization of ringed seals.The monthly localization of 27 ringed seals measured as the distance from their breeding/capture site. Note, the log10 scale of the y-axis. Data are uniquely colored for each seal and a smoothing spline was fit for each individual for which we had at least four months of data. Nine adults were found >400 km from their breeding site between the months of the April and November. In the winter months of December-March, individuals were located within 100 km of their breeding location.

Mentions: Seals tended to move farther from their capture site during June - November, when Arctic sea ice extent is at its annual minimum. With a few exceptions, seals remained closer to their breeding sites during December-May, when ice extent is maximal (Figure 1; ice extent data obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Center [30]). Of the 24 seals for which we obtained data for both seasons, 10 ranged farther from their breeding sites in June-November (permutation t-test p-values <0.05). One of the ten was a juvenile and another was less than one year old, the remainder were adults. Not all individuals travelled far from their capture site; however, migratory individuals travelled extensively (for an example see Fig. 2a). The seals that travelled extensively moved away from, rather than along, the coast. Seals tagged in Canada were tracked to June at the latest, so observations in July-November were limited to seals tagged in Alaska.


Combined genetic and telemetry data reveal high rates of gene flow, migration, and long-distance dispersal potential in Arctic ringed seals (Pusa hispida).

Martinez-Bakker ME, Sell SK, Swanson BJ, Kelly BP, Tallmon DA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Seasonal localization of ringed seals.The monthly localization of 27 ringed seals measured as the distance from their breeding/capture site. Note, the log10 scale of the y-axis. Data are uniquely colored for each seal and a smoothing spline was fit for each individual for which we had at least four months of data. Nine adults were found >400 km from their breeding site between the months of the April and November. In the winter months of December-March, individuals were located within 100 km of their breeding location.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3794998&req=5

pone-0077125-g001: Seasonal localization of ringed seals.The monthly localization of 27 ringed seals measured as the distance from their breeding/capture site. Note, the log10 scale of the y-axis. Data are uniquely colored for each seal and a smoothing spline was fit for each individual for which we had at least four months of data. Nine adults were found >400 km from their breeding site between the months of the April and November. In the winter months of December-March, individuals were located within 100 km of their breeding location.
Mentions: Seals tended to move farther from their capture site during June - November, when Arctic sea ice extent is at its annual minimum. With a few exceptions, seals remained closer to their breeding sites during December-May, when ice extent is maximal (Figure 1; ice extent data obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Center [30]). Of the 24 seals for which we obtained data for both seasons, 10 ranged farther from their breeding sites in June-November (permutation t-test p-values <0.05). One of the ten was a juvenile and another was less than one year old, the remainder were adults. Not all individuals travelled far from their capture site; however, migratory individuals travelled extensively (for an example see Fig. 2a). The seals that travelled extensively moved away from, rather than along, the coast. Seals tagged in Canada were tracked to June at the latest, so observations in July-November were limited to seals tagged in Alaska.

Bottom Line: Seasonal movements and use of sea ice were determined for 27 seals tracked via satellite telemetry.We found that ringed seals disperse on a pan-Arctic scale and both males and females may migrate long distances during the summer months when sea ice extent is minimal.Gene flow among Arctic breeding sites and between the Arctic and the Baltic Sea subspecies was high; these two subspecies are interconnected as are breeding sites within the Arctic subspecies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America ; Biology and Marine Biology Program, University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau, Alaska, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Ringed seals (Pusa hispida) are broadly distributed in seasonally ice covered seas, and their survival and reproductive success is intricately linked to sea ice and snow. Climatic warming is diminishing Arctic snow and sea ice and threatens to endanger ringed seals in the foreseeable future. We investigated the population structure and connectedness within and among three subspecies: Arctic (P. hispida hispida), Baltic (P. hispida botnica), and Lake Saimaa (P. hispida saimensis) ringed seals to assess their capacity to respond to rapid environmental changes. We consider (a) the geographical scale of migration, (b) use of sea ice, and (c) the amount of gene flow between subspecies. Seasonal movements and use of sea ice were determined for 27 seals tracked via satellite telemetry. Additionally, population genetic analyses were conducted using 354 seals representative of each subspecies and 11 breeding sites. Genetic analyses included sequences from two mitochondrial regions and genotypes of 9 microsatellite loci. We found that ringed seals disperse on a pan-Arctic scale and both males and females may migrate long distances during the summer months when sea ice extent is minimal. Gene flow among Arctic breeding sites and between the Arctic and the Baltic Sea subspecies was high; these two subspecies are interconnected as are breeding sites within the Arctic subspecies.

Show MeSH