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Marine Biology

, 166:86 | Cite as

A genomic assessment of movement and gene flow around the South Florida vicariance zone in the migratory coastal blacknose shark, Carcharhinus acronotus

  • Pavel V. DimensEmail author
  • Stuart Willis
  • R. Dean Grubbs
  • David S. Portnoy
Original paper

Abstract

South Florida has been identified as a genetic break for multiple mobile marine taxa but the mechanisms that impede gene flow largely remain unknown. To understand how South Florida functions as a barrier for blacknose shark, a highly migratory species that has genetically diverged Atlantic and Gulf populations, patterns of genetic variation were assessed in 212 individuals sampled from the Atlantic, eastern Gulf, and Florida Keys at 2213 nuclear-encoded SNP-containing loci. Results support divergence between the Gulf and Atlantic (FST ~ 0.002, P < 0.05), and 51 individuals caught in the Keys were assigned to the Gulf, as compared to only two individuals that assigned to the Atlantic, indicating that Florida Keys is largely composed of Gulf individuals. Further, two to three migrants were identified, all of which were Gulf individuals captured in the Atlantic. The results indicate that South Florida does not prevent individual movement between the Gulf and Atlantic and that the Keys may be a seasonal mixing zone. However, the Gulf and Atlantic remain genetically independent, suggesting that region-specific reproductive behavior/compatibility, or aspects of movement ecology, such as swimming energetics or temperature-driven interannual variability in migratory range, may maintain divergence rather than a physical barrier in South Florida.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are thankful for tissue samples provided by A. Piercy (Florida Museum of Natural History, University of North Florida), J. Gelsleichter and R. Ford (University of North Florida), D. Bethea (NOAA Fisheries Panama City Laboratory), M. Drymon (Dauphin Island Sea Lab), W.B. Driggers, K. Hannan, C. Jones and L. Jones (NMFS, Mississippi Laboratories), B. Frazier and A. Shaw (SCDNR), C. Belcher (GADNR), C. Peterson and J. Imhoff (Florida State University). A debt of gratitude is owed to J. Puritz, C. M. Hollenbeck, and the rest of the Marine Genomics Laboratory for assistance and guidance with both laboratory practices and analyses. This article is publication number 22 of the Marine Genomics Laboratory at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, number 116 in the series Genetic Studies in Marine Fishes. Work was supported by the National Marine Fisheries Service under Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant No. NA10NMF4540080, the NOAA Fisheries - Gulf of Mexico Shark Pupping and Nursery program, NOAA Office of Protected Resources, Section – 6, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Texas Sea Grant College Program’s Grants-In-Aid of Graduate Research Program, and by funds through the College of Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Additionally, we thank Dr. Oscar Puebla and two anonymous reviewers for their time and helpful comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. Field sample collections by FSU were approved under FSU IACUC protocols 1111 and 1411.

Supplementary material

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research LaboratoryOcean SpringsUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Biodiversity Science and SustainabilityCalifornia Academy of SciencesSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Florida State University Coastal and Marine LaboratorySt. TeresaUSA
  4. 4.Texas A&M University, Corpus ChristiCorpus ChristiUSA

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