Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article in 
Biological Conservation:

Parra, G.J., Cagnazzi, D., Jedensjö, M., Ackermann, C., Frere, C., Seddon, J., 
Nikolic, N., Krützen, M., 2018. Low genetic diversity, limited gene flow and 
widespread genetic bottleneck effects in a threatened dolphin species, the 
Australian humpback dolphin. Biological Conservation 220, 192-200.

The paper is available online for free for the next 50 days (or you can get it 
anytime by contacting me) on the following link:
Numerous species of marine megafauna are at risk of extinction and 
understanding their genetic population structure and demographic history is 
essential for their conservation. We used mitochondrial DNA and 18 nuclear 
microsatellite loci, on the largest genetic dataset compiled to date on 
Australian humpback dolphins (eight sampling sites, 159 samples), to assess 
their genetic diversity, gene flow and past demographic history along the east 
coast of Queensland, Australia. Levels of genetic diversity were low (mtDNA: h 
= 0-0.52, π = 0-0.007; nDNA: Ho = 0.27–0.41; AR = 1.7–2.4). Both mitochondrial 
(ΦST = 0.49, P = 0.001) and nuclear markers (FST = 0.14, P = 0.001) showed 
strong genetic structure among sampling sites. Four putative populations were 
identified, with little contemporary gene flow (m = 0.017 to 0.047) among 
populations. Genetic divergence follows an isolation-by-distance model (r = 
0.38, P = 0.0001), with an apparent restriction in gene flow occurring at 
scales of 382-509 km. Estimates of contemporary effective population size were 
low (Ne = 11.5-31.2), with signatures of genetic bottlenecks for all putative 
populations about 50-150 generations ago. The current low levels of genetic 
diversity, gene flow, and effective population size in Australian humpback 
dolphins indicate the effects of historical population bottlenecks and/or 
founder events during the late Holocene period (~ 1250-3750 years ago); 
probably associated with sea level fall and increased intensity of El Niño 
Southern Oscillation -climatic events. Our results raise important conservation 
concerns and emphasizes the vulnerability of Australian humpback dolphins to 
stochastic demographic, genetic and environmental processes. Conservation 
strategies should focus on promoting connectivity among local populations and 
reducing direct causes of human-related mortality.

All the best,

Guido J. Parra (on behalf of all authors)

Guido J. Parra, PhD
Senior Lecturer | College of Science and Engineering
Research leader | Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL)

Flinders University
Sturt Road, Bedford Park 5042 SA, Adelaide
GPO Box 2100 Adelaide, SA 5001 Australia
Tel: +61 8 8201 3565|email:<>
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