Understanding trophic relationships among marine predators in remote environments is challenging, but it is critical to understand community structure and dynamics. In this study, we used stable isotope analysis of skin biopsies to compare the isotopic, and thus, trophic niches of three sympatric delphinids in the waters surrounding Palmyra Atoll, in the Central Tropical Pacific: the melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra), Gray’s spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris longirostris), and the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). δ15N values...
Data from: Familial social structure and socially-driven genetic differentiation in Hawaiian short-finned pilot whalesAmy M. Van Cise, Karen. K. Martien, Sabre D. Mahaffy, Robin W. Baird, Daniel L. Webster, James H. Fowler, Erin M. Oleson & Phillip A. Morin
Social structure can have a significant impact on divergence and evolution within species, especially in the marine environment, which has few environmental boundaries to dispersal. On the other hand, genetic structure can affect social structure in many species, through an individual preference toward associating with relatives. One social species, the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), has been shown to live in stable social groups for periods of at least a decade. Using mitochondrial control sequences...
Data from: Genomic divergence across ecological gradients in the Central African rainforest songbird (Andropadus virens)Ying Zhen, Ryan J. Harrigan, Kristen C. Ruegg, Eric C. Anderson, Thomas C. Ng, Sirena Lao, Kirk E. Lohmueller & Thomas B. Smith
The little greenbul, a common rainforest passerine from sub-Saharan Africa, has been the subject of long-term evolutionary studies to understand the mechanisms leading to rainforest speciation. Previous research found morphological and behavioural divergence across rainforest–savannah transition zones (ecotones), and a pattern of divergence with gene flow suggesting divergent natural selection has contributed to adaptive divergence and ecotones could be important areas for rainforests speciation. Recent advances in genomics and environmental modelling make it possible to...
The complex processes involved with animal migration have long been a subject of biological interest and broad-scale movement patterns of many marine turtle populations still remain unresolved. While it is widely accepted that once marine turtles reach sexual maturity they home to natal areas for nesting or reproduction, the role of philopatry to natal areas during other life stages has received less scrutiny, despite widespread evidence across the taxa. Here we report on genetic research...
Data from: Physiological, morphological, and ecological tradeoffs influence vertical habitat use of deep-diving toothed-whales in the BahamasTrevor W. Joyce, John W. Durban, Diane E. Claridge, Charlotte A. Dunn, Holly Fearnbach, Kim M. Parsons, Russel D. Andrews & Lisa T. Ballance
Dive capacity among toothed whales (suborder: Odontoceti) has been shown to generally increase with body mass in a relationship closely linked to the allometric scaling of metabolic rates. However, two odontocete species tagged in this study, the Blainville’s beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris and the Cuvier’s beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris, confounded expectations of a simple allometric relationship, with exceptionally long (mean: 46.1 min & 65.4 min) and deep dives (mean: 1129 m & 1179 m), and...
Data from: Rethinking ‘normal’: the role of stochasticity in the phenology of a synchronously breeding seabirdCasey Youngflesh, Stephanie Jenouvrier, Jefferson T. Hinke, Lauren DuBois, Judy St. Leger, Wayne Z. Trivelpiece, Susan G. Trivelpiece & Heather J. Lynch
1. Phenological changes have been observed in a variety of systems over the past century. There is concern that, as a consequence, ecological interactions are becoming increasingly mismatched in time, with negative consequences for ecological function. 2. Significant spatial heterogeneity (inter-site) and temporal variability (inter-annual) can make it difficult to separate intrinsic, extrinsic, and stochastic drivers of phenological variability. The goal of this study was to understand the timing and variability of breeding phenology of...
Data from: Microhaplotypes provide increased power from short-read DNA sequences for relationship inferenceDiana S. Baetscher, Anthony J. Clemento, Thomas C. Ng, Eric C. Anderson & John C. Garza
The accelerating rate at which DNA sequence data is now generated by high-throughput sequencing instruments provides both opportunities and challenges for population genetic and ecological investigations of animals and plants. We show here how the common practice of calling genotypes from a single SNP per sequenced region ignores substantial additional information in the phased short-read sequences that are provided by high-throughput sequencing instruments. We target sequenced regions with multiple SNPs in kelp rockfish (Sebastes atrovirens)...
Data from: Discovery and characterization of single nucleotide polymorphisms in two anadromous alosine fishes of conservation concernDiana S. Baetscher, Daniel J. Hasselman, Kerry Reid, Eric P. Palkovacs & John Carlos Garza
Freshwater habitat alteration and marine fisheries can affect anadromous fish species, and populations fluctuating in size elicit conservation concern and coordinated management. We describe the development and characterization of two sets of 96 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays for two species of anadromous alosine fishes, alewife and blueback herring (collectively known as river herring), that are native to the Atlantic coast of North America. We used data from high-throughput DNA sequencing to discover SNPs and...
Data from: Resource partitioning facilitates coexistence in sympatric cetaceans in the California CurrentSabrina Fossette, Briana Abrahms, Elliott L. Hazen, Steven J. Bograd, Kelly M. Newton, John Calambokidis, Julia A. Burrows, Jeremy A. Goldbogen, James T. Harvey, Baldo Marinovic, Bernie Tershy, Donald A. Croll & Kelly M. Zilliacus
1. Resource partitioning is an important process driving habitat use and foraging strategies in sympatric species that potentially compete. Differences in foraging behavior are hypothesized to contribute to species coexistence by facilitating resource partitioning, but little is known on the multiple mechanisms for partitioning that may occur simultaneously. Studies are further limited in the marine environment, where the spatial and temporal distribution of resources is highly dynamic and subsequently difficult to quantify. 2. We investigated...
Data from: Crossing the line: tunas actively exploit submesoscale fronts to enhance foraging successStephanie Snyder, Peter J. S. Franks, Lynne D. Talley, Yi Xu & Suzanne Kohin
Fronts – i.e., the boundaries between water masses – are ubiquitous in the world oceans and have been shown to significantly influence pelagic ecosystems with enhanced local productivity and increased abundances of forage fish and top predators. Here we use data from archival tags to document how four juvenile albacore tunas foraged at and exploited a thermal front. Of the 3,098 observed trips, the albacore mainly swam across the front between the warm side above...
Fish, even of the same species, can exhibit substantial variation in energy density (energy per unit wet weight). Most of this variation is due to differences in the amount of storage lipids. In addition to their importance as energy reserves for reproduction and for survival during unfavourable conditions, the accumulation of lipids represents a large energetic flux for many species, so figuring out how this energy flux is integrated with other major energy fluxes (growth,...
Data from: Genetic assignment with isotopes and habitat suitability (GAIAH), a migratory bird case studyKristen C. Ruegg, Eric C. Anderson, Ryan J. Harrigan, Kristina L. Paxton, Jeffrey F. Kelly, Frank Moore & Thomas B. Smith
1. Identifying migratory connections across the annual cycle is important for studies of migrant ecology, evolution, and conservation. While recent studies have demonstrated the utility of high-resolution SNP-based genetic markers for identifying population-specific migratory patterns, the accuracy of this approach relative to other intrinsic tagging techniques has not yet been assessed. 2. Here, using a straightforward application of Bayes' Rule, we develop a method for combining inferences from high-resolution genetic markers, stable isotopes, and habitat...
Polyploid organisms pose substantial obstacles to genetic analysis, as molecular assay data are usually difficult to evaluate in a Mendelian framework. Green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) is a tetraploid species and is facing significant conservation challenges, including bycatch in ocean fisheries. We present here novel molecular genetic assays and analytical methodology for green sturgeon that allow discrimination of fish from the two visually indistinguishable distinct population segments (DPSs), and also provide individual-specific genetic tags. We show...
Southwest Fisheries Science Center13
University of California System4
University of California, Santa Cruz4
University of California, San Diego3
Alaska Fisheries Science Center2
Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center2
University of California, Santa Barbara2
University of California Los Angeles2