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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
An example of ringed seal migration, sample sites for genetic analysis, and geographic differences in haulout behavior.(A) The black diamonds are the 9 Arctic breeding sites included in our genetic analysis. Red and green circles connected by arrows are movement of an adult male seal tracked using satellite telemetry from May 2005 to May 2006. The red circle indicates his breeding site where he remained during the “ice-bound” season when the sea ice extended from the North Pole southward to the oceanic areas colored white. The green circles are locations to which he travelled during the “open water” season when the sea ice had retreated north to the region shaded grey. From May - July 2005 he was at his breeding site. He then took a summer trip east (blue arrows) and was located in the Canadian Beaufort in August before returning to his breeding site in October. Upon returning to his breeding site, he embarked upon an autumn trip (orange arrows) west where he was located in November. In May 2006, he was once again located in Barrow. Note, the relative sizes of the circles indicate the number of observations in each region. The breeding sites are in order from west to east: (1) Kotzebue, (2) Peard Bay, (3) Barrow, (4) Oliktok, (5) Prudhoe Bay, and (6) Kaktovik, Alaska; (7) Paktoa, (8) Tuktoyaktuk, and (9) Ulukhaktok/Holman, Canada. (B) The black diamonds numbered 10–11 are the sampling locations in the Baltic Sea and Lake Saimaa, Finland, respectively. (C) Haulout time series and rose diagram of 24-hour haulout cycles for 4 adult seals captured in Peard Bay, Alaska. Haulout time is the percent of the hour the seal was hauled-out atop the sea ice. The dark blue time series is the mean hourly haulout time and the region shaded light blue is the range. The dashed blue lines above the time series indicate the hours from 20∶00 GMT to 08∶00 GMT. Each stacked bar on the rose diagram is the proportion of observations for which a seal was hauled out longer than the mid-range for the day. Each slice represents one of 24 hours of the day, and the lightest bar within a slice is the data for the seal that hauled out the least during that hour; whereas, the darker bars represent seals that hauled out longer during that hour. (D) Haulout time series and rose-diagram for three seals in Paktoa.
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pone-0077125-g002: An example of ringed seal migration, sample sites for genetic analysis, and geographic differences in haulout behavior.(A) The black diamonds are the 9 Arctic breeding sites included in our genetic analysis. Red and green circles connected by arrows are movement of an adult male seal tracked using satellite telemetry from May 2005 to May 2006. The red circle indicates his breeding site where he remained during the “ice-bound” season when the sea ice extended from the North Pole southward to the oceanic areas colored white. The green circles are locations to which he travelled during the “open water” season when the sea ice had retreated north to the region shaded grey. From May - July 2005 he was at his breeding site. He then took a summer trip east (blue arrows) and was located in the Canadian Beaufort in August before returning to his breeding site in October. Upon returning to his breeding site, he embarked upon an autumn trip (orange arrows) west where he was located in November. In May 2006, he was once again located in Barrow. Note, the relative sizes of the circles indicate the number of observations in each region. The breeding sites are in order from west to east: (1) Kotzebue, (2) Peard Bay, (3) Barrow, (4) Oliktok, (5) Prudhoe Bay, and (6) Kaktovik, Alaska; (7) Paktoa, (8) Tuktoyaktuk, and (9) Ulukhaktok/Holman, Canada. (B) The black diamonds numbered 10–11 are the sampling locations in the Baltic Sea and Lake Saimaa, Finland, respectively. (C) Haulout time series and rose diagram of 24-hour haulout cycles for 4 adult seals captured in Peard Bay, Alaska. Haulout time is the percent of the hour the seal was hauled-out atop the sea ice. The dark blue time series is the mean hourly haulout time and the region shaded light blue is the range. The dashed blue lines above the time series indicate the hours from 20∶00 GMT to 08∶00 GMT. Each stacked bar on the rose diagram is the proportion of observations for which a seal was hauled out longer than the mid-range for the day. Each slice represents one of 24 hours of the day, and the lightest bar within a slice is the data for the seal that hauled out the least during that hour; whereas, the darker bars represent seals that hauled out longer during that hour. (D) Haulout time series and rose-diagram for three seals in Paktoa.

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)

An example of ringed seal migration, sample sites for genetic analysis, and geographic differences in haulout behavior.(A) The black diamonds are the 9 Arctic breeding sites included in our genetic analysis. Red and green circles connected by arrows are movement of an adult male seal tracked using satellite telemetry from May 2005 to May 2006. The red circle indicates his breeding site where he remained during the “ice-bound” season when the sea ice extended from the North Pole southward to the oceanic areas colored white. The green circles are locations to which he travelled during the “open water” season when the sea ice had retreated north to the region shaded grey. From May - July 2005 he was at his breeding site. He then took a summer trip east (blue arrows) and was located in the Canadian Beaufort in August before returning to his breeding site in October. Upon returning to his breeding site, he embarked upon an autumn trip (orange arrows) west where he was located in November. In May 2006, he was once again located in Barrow. Note, the relative sizes of the circles indicate the number of observations in each region. The breeding sites are in order from west to east: (1) Kotzebue, (2) Peard Bay, (3) Barrow, (4) Oliktok, (5) Prudhoe Bay, and (6) Kaktovik, Alaska; (7) Paktoa, (8) Tuktoyaktuk, and (9) Ulukhaktok/Holman, Canada. (B) The black diamonds numbered 10–11 are the sampling locations in the Baltic Sea and Lake Saimaa, Finland, respectively. (C) Haulout time series and rose diagram of 24-hour haulout cycles for 4 adult seals captured in Peard Bay, Alaska. Haulout time is the percent of the hour the seal was hauled-out atop the sea ice. The dark blue time series is the mean hourly haulout time and the region shaded light blue is the range. The dashed blue lines above the time series indicate the hours from 20∶00 GMT to 08∶00 GMT. Each stacked bar on the rose diagram is the proportion of observations for which a seal was hauled out longer than the mid-range for the day. Each slice represents one of 24 hours of the day, and the lightest bar within a slice is the data for the seal that hauled out the least during that hour; whereas, the darker bars represent seals that hauled out longer during that hour. (D) Haulout time series and rose-diagram for three seals in Paktoa.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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pone-0077125-g002: An example of ringed seal migration, sample sites for genetic analysis, and geographic differences in haulout behavior.(A) The black diamonds are the 9 Arctic breeding sites included in our genetic analysis. Red and green circles connected by arrows are movement of an adult male seal tracked using satellite telemetry from May 2005 to May 2006. The red circle indicates his breeding site where he remained during the “ice-bound” season when the sea ice extended from the North Pole southward to the oceanic areas colored white. The green circles are locations to which he travelled during the “open water” season when the sea ice had retreated north to the region shaded grey. From May - July 2005 he was at his breeding site. He then took a summer trip east (blue arrows) and was located in the Canadian Beaufort in August before returning to his breeding site in October. Upon returning to his breeding site, he embarked upon an autumn trip (orange arrows) west where he was located in November. In May 2006, he was once again located in Barrow. Note, the relative sizes of the circles indicate the number of observations in each region. The breeding sites are in order from west to east: (1) Kotzebue, (2) Peard Bay, (3) Barrow, (4) Oliktok, (5) Prudhoe Bay, and (6) Kaktovik, Alaska; (7) Paktoa, (8) Tuktoyaktuk, and (9) Ulukhaktok/Holman, Canada. (B) The black diamonds numbered 10–11 are the sampling locations in the Baltic Sea and Lake Saimaa, Finland, respectively. (C) Haulout time series and rose diagram of 24-hour haulout cycles for 4 adult seals captured in Peard Bay, Alaska. Haulout time is the percent of the hour the seal was hauled-out atop the sea ice. The dark blue time series is the mean hourly haulout time and the region shaded light blue is the range. The dashed blue lines above the time series indicate the hours from 20∶00 GMT to 08∶00 GMT. Each stacked bar on the rose diagram is the proportion of observations for which a seal was hauled out longer than the mid-range for the day. Each slice represents one of 24 hours of the day, and the lightest bar within a slice is the data for the seal that hauled out the least during that hour; whereas, the darker bars represent seals that hauled out longer during that hour. (D) Haulout time series and rose-diagram for three seals in Paktoa.
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