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Demographic histories and genetic diversity across pinnipeds are shaped by human exploitation, ecology and life-history
Bielefeld Univ, Dept Anim Behav, Postfach 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany;Liverpool John Moores Univ, Sch Nat Sci & Psychol, Fac Sci, Liverpool L3 3AF, Merseyside, England.
Bielefeld Univ, Dept Anim Behav, Postfach 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany;British Antarctic Survey, Madingley Rd, Cambridge CB3 0ET, England.
Bielefeld Univ, Dept Anim Behav, Postfach 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany.
Autonomous Univ Queretaro, Sch Nat Sci, Unit Basic & Appl Microbiol, Ave Ciencias S-N, Queretaro 76230, Mexico.
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2018 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 9, article id 4836Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A central paradigm in conservation biology is that population bottlenecks reduce genetic diversity and population viability. In an era of biodiversity loss and climate change, understanding the determinants and consequences of bottlenecks is therefore an important challenge. However, as most studies focus on single species, the multitude of potential drivers and the consequences of bottlenecks remain elusive. Here, we combined genetic data from over 11,000 individuals of 30 pinniped species with demographic, ecological and life history data to evaluate the consequences of commercial exploitation by 18th and 19th century sealers. We show that around one third of these species exhibit strong signatures of recent population declines. Bottleneck strength is associated with breeding habitat and mating system variation, and together with global abundance explains much of the variation in genetic diversity across species. Overall, bottleneck intensity is unrelated to IUCN status, although the three most heavily bottlenecked species are endangered. Our study reveals an unforeseen interplay between human exploitation, animal biology, demographic declines and genetic diversity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2018. Vol. 9, article id 4836
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Genetics
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-371873DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06695-zISI: 000450274000001PubMedID: 30446730OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-371873DiVA, id: diva2:1275608
Available from: 2019-01-07 Created: 2019-01-07 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Wolf, Jochen B. W.

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