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Genetic structure of the southeastern United States loggerhead turtle nesting aggregation: evidence of additional structure within the peninsular Florida recovery unit
Shamblin, B.M.; Dodd, M.G.; Bagley, D.A.; Ehrhart, L.M.; Tucker, A.D.; Johnson, C.; Carthy, R.R.; Scarpino, R.A.; McMichael, E.; Addison, D.S.; Williams, K.L.; Frick, M.G.; Ouellette, S.; Meylan, A.B.; Godfrey, M.H.; Murphy, S.R.; Nairn, C.J. (2011). Genetic structure of the southeastern United States loggerhead turtle nesting aggregation: evidence of additional structure within the peninsular Florida recovery unit. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(3): 571-587. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-010-1582-6
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Shamblin, B.M.
  • Dodd, M.G.
  • Bagley, D.A.
  • Ehrhart, L.M.
  • Tucker, A.D.
  • Johnson, C.
  • Carthy, R.R.
  • Scarpino, R.A.
  • McMichael, E.
  • Addison, D.S.
  • Williams, K.L.
  • Frick, M.G.
  • Ouellette, S.
  • Meylan, A.B.
  • Godfrey, M.H.
  • Murphy, S.R.
  • Nairn, C.J.

Abstract
    The southeastern United States supports one of two large loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting aggregations worldwide and is therefore critical to global conservation and recovery efforts for the species. Previous studies have established the presence of four demographically distinct nesting populations (management units) corresponding to beaches from (1) North Carolina through northeastern Florida, (2) peninsular Florida, (3) the Dry Tortugas, and (4) northwest Florida. Temporal and geographic genetic structure of the nesting aggregation was examined utilizing partial mitochondrial control region haplotype frequencies from 834 samples collected over the 2002 through 2008 nesting seasons from 19 beaches as well as previously published haplotype data. Most rookeries did not exhibit interannual genetic variation. However, the interannual variation detected did significantly impact the interpretation of spatial genetic structure in northeastern Florida. Based on pairwise F ST comparisons, exact tests of population differentiation, and analysis of molecular variance, the present study upholds the distinctiveness of the four currently recognized management units and further supports recognition of discrete central eastern, southern (southeastern and southwestern), and central western Florida management units. Further subdivision may be warranted, but more intensive genetic sampling is required. In addition, tools such as telemetry and mark-recapture are needed to complement genetic data and overcome limitations of genetic markers in resolving loggerhead turtle rookery connectivity in the southeastern USA.

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