Genetic connectivity of the scalloped hammerhead shark across Indonesia and the Western Indian Ocean

Published on
01. October 2020

Genetic connectivity of the scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini across Indonesia and the Western Indian Ocean

Sutanto Hadi, Noviar Andayani, Efin Muttaqin, Benaya M. Simeon, Muhammad Ichsan, Beginer Subhan, Hawis Madduppa


Scalloped Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) is an endangered species which its populations have been declining globally including in Indonesia, the world’s top shark fishing country. However, there is a lack of information on the recent population structure of this species to promote proper management and its conservation status. This study aimed to investigate the genetic diversity, population structure, and connectivity of the S. lewini population, in three major shark landing sites: Aceh (n = 41), Balikpapan (n = 30), and Lombok (n = 29). Meanwhile, additional sequences were retrieved from West Papua (n = 14) and the Western Indian Ocean (n = 65) populations. From the analyses of the mitochondrial CO1 gene, a total of 179 sequences of S. lewini, with an average size of 594 bp, and 40 polymorphic loci in four and eight haplotypes for the Indonesian population and the Western Indian Ocean population were identified. The overall values of genetic diversity were high (h = 0.717; π = 0.013), with the highest values recorded in Aceh (h = 0.668; π = 0.002) and the lowest in Papua (h = 0.143; π = 0.000). On the contrary, the overall value was fairly low in the Western Indian Ocean (h = 0.232; π = 0.001). Furthermore, AMOVA and FST showed three significant subdivisions in Indonesia (FST = 0.442; P < 0.001), with separated populations for Aceh and West Papua, and mixed between Balikpapan and Lombok (FST = 0.044; P = 0.091). In contrast, genetic homogeneity was observed within the population of the Western Indian Ocean (FST = –0.013; P = 0.612). The establishment of a haplotype network provided evidence of a significantly different population and a limited genetic distribution between the Indonesian and the Western Indian Ocean populations (FST = 0.740; P < 0.001). This study showed the presence of a complex population of S. lewini with limited connectivity only in Indonesia separated from the Western Indian Ocean and requiring specific management measures based on the population structure at the regional level.

PLoS ONE 15(10): e0230763


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