The interplay of homing and dispersal in green turtles: A focus on the southwestern atlantic Article

Naro-Maciel, E, Bondioli, ACV, Martin, M et al. (2012). The interplay of homing and dispersal in green turtles: A focus on the southwestern atlantic . JOURNAL OF HEREDITY, 103(6), 792-805. 10.1093/jhered/ess068

cited authors

  • Naro-Maciel, E; Bondioli, ACV; Martin, M; De Pádua Almeida, A; Baptistotte, C; Bellini, C; Marcovaldi, MA; Santos, AJB; Amato, G



  • Current understanding of spatial ecology is insufficient in many threatened marine species, failing to provide a solid basis for conservation and management. To address this issue for globally endangered green turtles, we investigated their population distribution by sequencing a mitochondrial control region segment from the Rocas Atoll courtship area (n = 30 males) and four feeding grounds (FGs) in Brazil (n = 397), and compared our findings to published data (nnesting = 1205; nfeeding = 1587). At Rocas Atoll, the first Atlantic courtship area sequenced to date, we found males were differentiated from local juveniles but not from nesting females. In combination with tag data, this indicates possible male philopatry. The most common haplotypes detected at the study sites were CMA-08 and CMA-05, and significant temporal variation was not revealed. Although feeding grounds were differentiated overall, intra-regional structure was less pronounced. Ascension was the primary natal source of the study FGs, with Surinam and Trindade as secondary sources. The study clarified the primary connectivity between Trindade and Brazil. Possible linkages to African populations were considered, but there was insufficient resolution to conclusively determine this connection. The distribution of FG haplotype lineages was nonrandom and indicative of regional clustering. The study investigated impacts of population size, geographic distance, ocean currents, and juvenile natal homing on connectivity, addressed calls for increased genetic sampling in the southwestern Atlantic, and provided data important for conservation of globally endangered green turtles. © 2012 The American Genetic Association.

publication date

  • November 1, 2012

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 792

end page

  • 805


  • 103


  • 6