Deep Mitochondrial Lineage Divergence Among Populations of the Southern Stingray (Hypanus americanus (Hildebrand & Schroeder, 1928)) Throughout the Southeastern United States and Caribbean
Batoid, Elasmobranch, Population structure, Conservation, Control region
Although over half of all known elasmobranchs are batoids, with many species exploited and several of conservation concern, little is known of their population genetic structure and micro-evolutionary history. Here, we used sequence variation in 648 bp of the mitochondrial control region to study the phylogeography of the southern stingray (Hypanus americanus(Hildebrand & Schroeder, 1928)) (previously Dasyatis americana) throughout the Carolinas, Florida, and the Caribbean. Out of 267 individuals sampled from eight locations, 67 haplotypes were identified and analysis of molecular variance revealed a high level of genetic partitioning (ΦST = 0.49; P < 0.00001) that was delineated into three geographic regions: (i) the USA and Belize, (ii) the Bahamas and the West Indies, and (iii) Grand Cayman Islands. Phylogenetic and statistical parsimony analyses identified three divergent lineages that were largely concordant with the population structure. However, the geographic distribution of haplotypes described a complex phylogeographic pattern with numerous haplotypes from the divergent lineages co-occurring at the same sampling site. The strong genetic partitioning detected for the Grand Cayman population suggests that this small and isolated population might warrant individualized conservation management.
Richards, Vincent P.; Melissa B. DeBiasse; and Mahmood S. Shivji. 2018. "Deep Mitochondrial Lineage Divergence Among Populations of the Southern Stingray (Hypanus americanus (Hildebrand & Schroeder, 1928)) Throughout the Southeastern United States and Caribbean." Marine Biodiversity , (): 1-8. doi:10.1007/s12526-018-0930-5.