USP Electronic Research Repository

Integrating morphological and genetic data at different spatial scales in a cosmopolitan marine turtle species: challenges for management and conservation

Álvarez-Varas, Rocío and Heidemeyer, Maike and Riginos, Cynthia and Benítez, Hugo A. and Reséndiz, Eduardo and Lara-Uc, Mónica and Godoy, Daniel A. and Muñoz-Pérez, Juan P. and Alarcón-Ruales, Daniela E. and Vélez-Rubio, Gabriela M. and Fallabrino, Alejandro and Piovano, Susanna and Alfaro-Shigueto, Joanna and Ortiz-Alvarez, Clara and Mangel, Jeffrey C. and Esquerré, Damien and Zárate, Patricia and Medrano, Carol and Miranda, Fabiola L. and Guerrero, Felipe and Vianna, Juliana A. and Véliz, David (2021) Integrating morphological and genetic data at different spatial scales in a cosmopolitan marine turtle species: challenges for management and conservation. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 191 (2). pp. 434-453. ISSN 0024-4082

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (2MB)


Patterns of genetic structure in highly mobile marine vertebrates may be accompanied by phenotypic variation. Most studies in marine turtles focused on population genetic structure have been performed at rookeries. We studied whether genetic and morphological variation of the endangered green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is consistent geographically, focusing on foraging grounds. An association between population genetic structure and body shape variation at broad (inter-lineage) and fine (foraging grounds) scales was predicted and analysed using mitochondrial DNA and geometric morphometrics. Although genetic and phenotypic differentiation patterns were congruent between lineages, no fine-scale association was found, suggesting adaptive divergence. Connectivity among Pacific foraging grounds found here suggests that temperatures of ocean surface currents may influence the genetic structure of C. mydas on a broad scale. Our results suggest that vicariance, dispersal, life-history traits and ecological conditions operating in foraging grounds have shaped the intraspecific morphology and genetic diversity of this species. Considering a range of geographic and temporal scales is useful when management strategies are required for cosmopolitan species. Integrating morphological and genetic tools at different spatial scales, conservation management is proposed based on protection of neutral and adaptive diversity. This approach opens new questions and challenges, especially regarding conservation genetics in cosmopolitan species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions: School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS)
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2022 04:29
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2022 22:50

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...