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Title: Philopatry in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta): beyond the gender paradigm
Author: Clusa Ferrand, Marcel
Carreras Huergo, Carlos
Cardona Pascual, Luis
Demetropoulos, Andreas
Margaritoulis, Dimitris
Rees, Alan F.
Hamza, Abdulmaula A.
Khalil, Mona
Levy, Yaniv
Turkozan, Oguz
Aguilar, Àlex
Pascual Berniola, Marta
Keywords: Tortugues marines
Satèl·lits científics
Biologia marina
Sea turtles
Scientific satellites
Marine biology
Issue Date: 8-Feb-2018
Publisher: Inter-Research
Abstract: Marine turtles have been traditionally considered model organisms to study sex-biased behaviour and dispersal. Although female philopatry has been identified in the loggerhead turtle, with adult females returning to specific locations to nest, studies on the philopatry and breeding migrations of males remain limited. In this study we analysed 152 hatchlings using 15 microsatellite markers. Each individual came from a different nest from samples taken at 8 nesting grounds in the Mediterranean. Our results revealed the existence of 5 genetically differentiated units, mostly due to restricted gene flow for both sexes. This supports existing satellite tracking studies that suggest that mating occurs close to nesting grounds in this region. The 5 management units identified within the Mediterranean included nesting grounds from (1) Libya and Cyprus, (2) Israel, (3) Lebanon, (4) Turkey and (5) Greece. The genetic similarity between distant nesting areas (i.e. Libya and Cyprus) suggests the presence of a more complex pattern of breeding behaviour. Three possible hypotheses, that remain to be tested in future studies, could explain this result: (1) mating might take place in common foraging grounds; (2) mating could occur en route while migrating to/from the breeding grounds; or (3) recent colonisation events could connect the 2 nesting grounds. Overall, our work suggests that widespread male-mediated gene flow between loggerhead nesting grounds is likely to have been previously overstated although opportunistic breeding patterns might connect some widely separated areas.
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It is part of: Marine Ecology Progress Series, 2018, vol. 588, p. 201-213
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ISSN: 0171-8630
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)
Articles publicats en revistes (Genètica, Microbiologia i Estadística)
Articles publicats en revistes (Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio))

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