Population structure and male-biased dispersal in the short-tail stingray Bathytoshia brevicaudata (Myliobatoidei: Dasyatidae)

Roycroft, Emily J., Le Port, Agnes, and Lavery, Shane D. (2019) Population structure and male-biased dispersal in the short-tail stingray Bathytoshia brevicaudata (Myliobatoidei: Dasyatidae). Conservation Genetics, 20 (4). pp. 717-728.

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Selective pressures driving dispersal in vagile species often differ between males and females, resulting in sex-biased dispersal. Male-biased dispersal is common in mammals, where there is greater reproductive investment by females, and there is emerging evidence for a similar pattern in elasmobranchs. We examine the population structure of the short-tail stingray (Bathytoshia brevicaudata), a large, viviparous coastal species common in southern hemisphere waters. Using 11 nuclear (nDNA) microsatellite markers from 202 individuals in comparison to mitochondrial (mtDNA) data reported by Le Port and Lavery (J Hered 103:174–185, 2012), we elucidate patterns of dispersal at both southern hemisphere and New Zealand scales. At a global scale, estimates of population differentiation were comparable across marker types (microsatellite FST = 0.148, p < 0.001, mtDNA ϕST = 0.67, p < 0.001). In contrast, New Zealand structure was much weaker for microsatellite markers (FST = 0.0026, p > 0.05) than for mtDNA (ϕST = 0.054, p < 0.05). Female-only data displayed a greater degree of population differentiation from both nDNA and mtDNA compared to male-only data, and population assignment tests indicated that males were significantly more likely to be immigrants to the population from which they were sampled. We estimate that within New Zealand, male-mediated gene flow is at least fivefold greater than female-mediated gene flow. This molecular evidence for sex-biased dispersal in a batoid species adds further support to male-biased dispersal as a recurrent pattern in viviparous elasmobranchs. Many elasmobranch species are vulnerable to extinction, and understanding movement patterns is crucial to management of threatened populations.

Item ID: 61746
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1572-9737
Keywords: Coastal stingray, Dasyatis brevicaudata, Microsatellite, Population genetics, Sex-biased dispersal, Smooth stingray
Copyright Information: © 2019, Springer Nature B.V.
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2020 02:12
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310599 Genetics not elsewhere classified @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 25%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310402 Biogeography and phylogeography @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 60%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 40%
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