Population structure and connectivity of tiger sharks across the Indo-Pacific Ocean basin

Published on 05. July 2017

Population structure and connectivity of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) across the Indo-Pacific Ocean basin

Bonnie J. Holmes, Samuel M. Williams, Nicholas M. Otway, Einar E. Nielsen, Safia L. Maher, Mike B. Bennett, Jennifer R. Ovenden


Population genetic structure using nine polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci was assessed for the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) at seven locations across the Indo-Pacific, and one location in the southern Atlantic. Genetic analyses revealed considerable genetic structuring (FST > 0.14, p < 0.001) between all Indo-Pacific locations and Brazil. By contrast, no significant genetic differences were observed between locations from within the Pacific or Indian Oceans, identifying an apparent large, single Indo-Pacific population. A lack of differentiation between tiger sharks sampled in Hawaii and other Indo-Pacific locations identified herein is in contrast to an earlier global tiger shark nDNA study. The results of our power analysis provide evidence to suggest that the larger sample sizes used here negated any weak population subdivision observed previously. These results further highlight the need for cross-jurisdictional efforts to manage the sustainable exploitation of large migratory sharks like G. cuvier.

The Royal Society, Online ISSN 2054-5703, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170309



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