Contrasting global, regional and local patterns of genetic structure in gray reef shark populations from the Indo-Pacific region

Abstract : Human activities have resulted in the loss of over 90% of sharks in most ocean basins and one in four species of elasmobranch are now listed at risk of extinction by the IUCN. How this collapse will affect the ability of populations to recover in the face of continued exploitation and global climate change remains unknown. indeed, important ecological and biological information are lacking for most shark species, particularly estimates of genetic diversity and population structure over a range of spatial scales. Using 15 microsatellite markers, we investigated genetic diversity and population structure in gray reef sharks over their Indo-Pacific range (407 specimens from 9 localities). Clear genetic differentiation was observed between the Indian and the Pacific Ocean specimens (F St = 0.145***). Further differentiation within the Pacific included a West and East cleavage as well as North-Central and South-Central Pacific clusters. No genetic differentiation was detected within archipelagos. These results highlight the legacy of past climate changes and the effects of large ocean expanses and circulation patterns on contrasting levels of connectivity at global, regional and local scales. our results indicate a need for regional conservation units for gray reef sharks and pinpoint the isolation and vulnerability of their French polynesian population.
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S. Thorrold, E. Boissin, Y. Zhou, S. Planes, C. Braun, et al.. Contrasting global, regional and local patterns of genetic structure in gray reef shark populations from the Indo-Pacific region. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 9 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-52221-6⟩. ⟨hal-02431843⟩

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