Heterogeneity in geomorphological and hydrographical conditions throughout the Mediterranean Sea could be the driving factors behind the significant differences between putative sub-populations, although the existence of a large panmictic population of striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen 1833) in this marine region could not be excluded. However, understanding the ecological implications of such genetic differentiation is difficult, as inferences about gene flow are usually made on evolutionary time scales and not along the ecological time frame over which most management and conservation practices are applied. In fact, as stated by the IUCN Red List, in the case of species assessed as vulnerable, the degree of genetic exchange between populations within a biogeographic region and its ecological implications represent a fascinating challenge that should be very deeply explored. This is even more significant in the Gulf of Taranto (Northern Ionian Sea, Central-eastern Mediterranean Sea), where the geomorphological and hydrographic characteristics support the hypothesis of a separated striped dolphin population genetically diverging from its original Mediterranean counterpart. To assess this hypothesis, a genetic analysis was carried out on DNA fragments of the mitochondrial cyt b gene to explore the evolutionary origin of S. coeruleoalba in the investigated area and its genetic diversity in comparison with available sequences from other Mediterranean and Atlantic populations. Results were discussed indicating ecological implications and suggesting conservation objectives. Moreover, a delphinid systematic was also suggested.

Cytochrome b marker reveals an independent lineage of Stenella coeruleoalba in the Gulf of Taranto

Ciccarese, Salvatrice
;
Carlucci, Roberto;Ciani, Elena;Linguiti, Giovanna;Antonacci, Rachele
2019

Abstract

Heterogeneity in geomorphological and hydrographical conditions throughout the Mediterranean Sea could be the driving factors behind the significant differences between putative sub-populations, although the existence of a large panmictic population of striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen 1833) in this marine region could not be excluded. However, understanding the ecological implications of such genetic differentiation is difficult, as inferences about gene flow are usually made on evolutionary time scales and not along the ecological time frame over which most management and conservation practices are applied. In fact, as stated by the IUCN Red List, in the case of species assessed as vulnerable, the degree of genetic exchange between populations within a biogeographic region and its ecological implications represent a fascinating challenge that should be very deeply explored. This is even more significant in the Gulf of Taranto (Northern Ionian Sea, Central-eastern Mediterranean Sea), where the geomorphological and hydrographic characteristics support the hypothesis of a separated striped dolphin population genetically diverging from its original Mediterranean counterpart. To assess this hypothesis, a genetic analysis was carried out on DNA fragments of the mitochondrial cyt b gene to explore the evolutionary origin of S. coeruleoalba in the investigated area and its genetic diversity in comparison with available sequences from other Mediterranean and Atlantic populations. Results were discussed indicating ecological implications and suggesting conservation objectives. Moreover, a delphinid systematic was also suggested.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/229571
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