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J Hered. 2013 Nov-Dec;104(6):755-64. doi: 10.1093/jhered/est057. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Population differentiation of 2 forms of Bryde's whales in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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1
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, 1200 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027.

Abstract

Accurate identification of units for conservation is particularly challenging for marine species as obvious barriers to gene flow are generally lacking. Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera spp.) are subject to multiple human-mediated stressors, including fisheries bycatch, ship strikes, and scientific whaling by Japan. For effective management, a clear understanding of how populations of each Bryde's whale species/subspecies are genetically structured across their range is required. We conducted a population-level analysis of mtDNA control region sequences with 56 new samples from Oman, Maldives, and Bangladesh, plus published sequences from off Java and the Northwest Pacific. Nine diagnostic characters in the mitochondrial control region and a maximum parsimony phylogenetic analysis identified 2 genetically recognized subspecies of Bryde's whale: the larger, offshore form, Balaenoptera edeni brydei, and the smaller, coastal form, Balaenoptera edeni edeni. Genetic diversity and differentiation indices, combined with a reconstructed maximum parsimony haplotype network, indicate strong differences in the genetic diversity and population structure within each subspecies. Discrete population units are identified for B. e. brydei in the Maldives, Java, and the Northwest Pacific and for B. e. edeni between the Northern Indian Ocean (Oman and Bangladesh) and the coastal waters of Japan.

KEYWORDS:

Balaenoptera; Bryde’s whale; Indo Pacific; conservation; management; population structure

PMID:
24081988
DOI:
10.1093/jhered/est057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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