Evidence from genetic and Lagrangian drifter data for transatlantic transport of small juvenile green turtles

Monzón-Argüello, C., Lopez-Jurado, L.F., Rico, C., Marco, A., Lopez, P., Hays, G.C. and Lee, P.L.M. 2010, Evidence from genetic and Lagrangian drifter data for transatlantic transport of small juvenile green turtles, Journal of biogeography, vol. 37, no. 9, pp. 1752-1766, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02326.x.

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Title Evidence from genetic and Lagrangian drifter data for transatlantic transport of small juvenile green turtles
Author(s) Monzón-Argüello, C.
Lopez-Jurado, L.F.
Rico, C.
Marco, A.
Lopez, P.
Hays, G.C.ORCID iD for Hays, G.C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Lee, P.L.M.ORCID iD for Lee, P.L.M. orcid.org/0000-0002-8489-9206
Journal name Journal of biogeography
Volume number 37
Issue number 9
Start page 1752
End page 1766
Total pages 15
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2010-09
ISSN 0305-0270
Keyword(s) Atlantic Ocean
buoy trajectory data
Chelonia mydas
foraging grounds
geographical connectivity
landscape genetics
mitochondrial DNA
mixed stock analysis
Summary Aim  A key life-history component for many animals is the need for movement between different geographical locations at particular times. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchlings disperse from their natal location to spend an early pelagic stage in the ocean, followed by a neritic stage where small juveniles settle in coastal areas. In this study, we combined genetic and Lagrangian drifter data to investigate the connectivity between natal and foraging locations. In particular we focus on the evidence for transatlantic transport. Location  Atlantic Ocean.

  We used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences (n = 1567) from foraging groups (n = 8) and nesting populations (n = 12) on both sides of the Atlantic. Genetic data were obtained for Cape Verde juvenile turtles, a foraging group not previously sampled for genetic study. Various statistical methods were used to explore spatial genetics and population genetic structure (e.g. exact tests of differentiation, Geneland and analysis of molecular variance). Many-to-many mixed stock analysis estimated the connectivity between nesting and foraging groups.

  Our key new finding is robust evidence for connectivity between a nesting population on the South American coast (25% of the Surinam nesting population are estimated to go to Cape Verde) and a foraging group off the coast of West Africa (38% of Cape Verde juveniles are estimated to originate from Surinam), thus extending the results of previous investigations by confirming that there is substantial transatlantic dispersal in both directions. Lagrangian drifter data demonstrated that transport by drift across the Atlantic within a few years is possible.

Main conclusions 
Small juvenile green turtles seem capable of dispersing extensively, and can drop out of the pelagic phase on a transatlantic scale (the average distance between natal and foraging locations was 3048 km). Nevertheless, we also find support for the ‘closest-to-home’ hypothesis in that the degree of contribution from a nesting population to a foraging group is correlated with proximity. Larger-sized turtles appear to feed closer to their natal breeding grounds (the average distance was 1133 km), indicating that those that have been initially transported to far-flung foraging grounds may still be able to move nearer to home as they grow larger.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02326.x
Field of Research 070499 Fisheries Sciences not elsewhere classified
060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30056211

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