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Amy Cook, Jennifer Arter, Lucia F. Jacobs
My owner, right or wrong: the effect of familiarity on the domestic dog’s behavior in a food-choice task
Animal Cognition August 2013

Dogs are strongly influenced by human behavior, and they readily form bonds with specific humans. Yet these lines of inquiry are not often combined. The goal of this study was to investigate whether such bonds would play a role in how dogs behave in response to human signals. Using various types of signals, we compared dogs’ use of information from a familiar human (their owner) versus an unfamiliar human when choosing between two food containers. In some conditions, the owner indicated a container that gave food and a stranger indicated a container that did not; in other conditions, this was reversed. Dogs more often chose the container indicated by or nearest to their owner, even when this container never yielded a food reward. In two conditions, dogs chose at chance: a control condition in which both pointers were strangers and a condition in which the owner and stranger sat reading books and provided no social signal. This is the first study to directly compare owners to strangers in a single food-choice situation. Our results suggest that dogs make decisions by attending preferentially to social signals from humans with whom they have become familiar.

Maud Bonato, Irek A. Malecki, Magretha D. Wang, Schalk W.P. Cloete, Extensive human presence at an early age of ostriches improves the docility of birds at a later stage of life, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Available online 31 August 2013, ISSN 0168-1591, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2013.08.003.
While ostriches are relatively wild birds with a short period of domestication, some birds demonstrate a strong interest in humans. Human imprinting of chicks could therefore facilitate the cooperation of birds for assisted reproduction technology purposes, improving the quality of human-bird interactions and consequently promoting the welfare of the birds. We investigated the effect of 4 different husbandry practices performed at an early age (standard husbandry, two extended human care treatments and foster parent care) on the response of one year-old ostrich chicks to human presence. Specifically, we tested whether chicks exposed to more human presence and care (Imprint 1 and 2) would be more docile towards humans, as opposed to those exposed to standard husbandry practices (Standard) or foster parenting (Foster). Behavioural observations were performed 3 times a week for a period of 3 months when the birds reached an age of approximately one year. The following behaviours towards the human observer were recorded: willingness to approach the human (approach), allowing touch by the human (touch), wing flapping, the keeping of a distance from the human (distance), sexual behaviour and aggressive behaviour. We consistently found that Imprint 1, Imprint 2 and Standard chicks were significantly more inclined to approach and create contact with the observer than Foster chicks. However, no differences in approaching, touching, keeping a distance or wing flapping was observed between Imprint 2 and Standard chicks. Furthermore, no sexual or aggressive behaviour repertoires were recorded during the observation period. These results suggest that human imprinted chicks and chicks reared under standard husbandry practices are more docile than chicks reared by foster parents. Hence, such expression of friendly behaviour and apparently reduced fear towards humans could potentially lead to tamer birds, improved welfare and subsequently more efficient production. However, the lack of differences between chicks subjected to a reduced intensity of imprinting and chicks reared under standard husbandry conditions stresses the need for further investigations in this species, and specifically in terms of sexual and/or aggressive display towards humans when the birds reach full sexual maturity.

Ljerka Ostojić, Nicola S. Clayton
Behavioural coordination of dogs in a cooperative problem-solving task with a conspecific and a human partner
Animal Cognition September 2013

The process of domestication has arguably provided dogs (Canis familiaris) with decreased emotional reactivity (reduced fear and aggression) and increased socio-cognitive skills adaptive for living with humans. It has been suggested that dogs are uniquely equipped with abilities that have been identified as crucial in cooperative problem-solving, namely social tolerance and the ability to attend to other individuals’ behaviour. Accordingly, dogs might be hypothesised to perform well in tasks in which they have to work together with a human partner. Recently, researchers have found that dogs successfully solved a simple cooperative task with another dog. Due to the simplicity of the task, this study was, however, unable to provide clear evidence as to whether the dogs’ successful performance was based on the cognitive ability of behavioural coordination, namely the capacity to link task requirements to the necessity of adjusting one’s actions to the partner’s behaviour. Here, we tested dogs with the most commonly used cooperative task, appropriate to test behavioural coordination. In addition, we paired dogs with both a conspecific and a human partner. Although dogs had difficulties in inhibiting the necessary action when required to wait for their partner, they successfully attended to the two cues that predicted a successful outcome, namely their partner’s behaviour and the incremental movement of rewards towards themselves. This behavioural coordination was shown with both a conspecific and a human partner, in line with the recent findings suggesting that dogs exhibit highly developed socio-cognitive skills in interactions with both humans and other dogs.

Vicky Melfi, Is training zoo animals enriching?, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 147, Issues 3–4, August 2013, Pages 299-305, ISSN 0168-1591, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2013.04.011.
Husbandry training of zoo animals (training) has been associated with many benefits, and indisputably is a valuable tool; training facilitates movement of animals within their environment, and participation in husbandry and medical procedures. Training has also been considered to be enriching. With few exceptions systematic empirical data have not been collected which have evaluated the impact of training zoo animals outside of the training session. Most publications in this area are methodological, outlining what behaviours can be trained and how, or consider the value of training whether it is believed to be beneficial or detrimental. Determining whether training is enriching, is in part hindered by semantics; what is meant by the suggestion that training is enriching? To move this situation forward five hypotheses have been suggested in this paper whereby animals would be considered to be enriched, if training: 1) affords learning opportunities, as learning is considered to be enriching; 2) can achieve the same results as conventional environmental enrichment (CEE); 3) increases human–animal interactions; 4) provides a dynamic change in the animals’ day; and 5) facilitates the provision of CEE. These suggested hypotheses are by no means exhaustive, but represent commonly held assumptions used to explain how training might be considered enriching. These hypotheses provide a starting point to systematically consider available data which support or refute whether training is enriching; an evidence based approach.
Data collated revealed that training could be considered enriching according to: hypothesis 1, whilst the animal is still learning; hypothesis 2, if the ultimate consequence of training was considered itself enriching. More data are required to test hypothesis 3. And data did not support that training was enriching in and of itself according to hypotheses 4 and 5. In conclusion, training was not considered to be an appropriate alternative to the provision of CEE. Both, training and CEE are recommended to ensure an integrated holistic captive animal management strategy which will meet an animal’s needs.

David Shepherdson, Karen D. Lewis, Kathy Carlstead, Joan Bauman, Nancy Perrin, Individual and environmental factors associated with stereotypic behavior and fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels in zoo housed polar bears, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 147, Issues 3–4, August 2013, Pages 268-277, ISSN 0168-1591, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2013.01.001.
Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are known to exhibit repetitive pacing behaviors, usually described as stereotypic, in zoo environments. However, little quantitative information exists about the prevalence of pacing in the zoo population. Similarly, large, multi-institutional studies conducted to determine the relationship between stereotypic behavior in zoo polar bears and environmental/husbandry variables using corticoids as a measure of stress are lacking. The study reported here includes data from 55 bears housed in 20 North American zoos. Individual and zoo characteristics were collected and behavior and fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM) were measured over a one-year period. Using an epidemiological approach, individual and facility level multiple linear regression models were constructed to determine the nature, strength and significance of environmental/husbandry variables and temperament (measured using a standardized novel object behavior test) on stereotypic pacing and FGM. We found zoo polar bears performed stereotypic pacing behavior during 14% of the day; the proportion rose to 22% when expressed as a percentage of time engaged in locomotory behavior. However, considerable variation in proportion of stereotypy was observed. Variables associated with reduced pacing at zoos were: enrichment, number of bears in the group, and bears having a view out of their exhibit with a strong suggestion that the existence of a positive reinforcement training program may also be important. Among individuals, bears whose temperament measured high on the “interest” axis (defined in terms of behavior directed toward the novel object) tended to display less stereotypic behavior and those that scored high on the “slow to approach” axis displayed more pacing. We found higher FGM levels were associated with higher proportions of stereotypic pacing, lower levels of the temperament variable “interest” and smaller dry land exhibit area. These results support other studies suggesting polar bears are particularly prone to stereotypic pacing behavior in zoos and that there is a link between stress (measured as FGM) and pacing in zoo polar bears. These findings also suggest that some easily available tools, namely environmental enrichment and possibly positive reinforcement training, can effectively reduce the incidence of these behaviors. Exhibit designers should take note that providing bears with a view out of their exhibit and larger land areas are associated with both behavioral and physiological benefits. Finally, certain temperaments are associated with elevated levels of both stereotypic behavior and corticoids. This information may provide a tool for proactively identifying the individuals most likely to develop pacing behaviors and providing appropriately enhanced care before the behavior becomes established.

Jessica C. Whitham, Nadja Wielebnowski, New directions for zoo animal welfare science, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 147, Issues 3–4, August 2013, Pages 247-260, ISSN 0168-1591, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2013.02.004.
In recent years, zoos and aquaria have intensified efforts to develop approaches and tools for assessing the welfare of populations and individual animals in their care. Advances made by welfare scientists conducting studies on exotic, farm, laboratory, and companion animals have led to the emergence of a new perspective on welfare assessment in zoos. This perspective: (1) emphasizes the importance of supplementing resource-based assessments with animal-based approaches that require measures of the behavioral and/or physical state of individual animals, (2) focuses on the subjective experiences of individual animals, and (3) considers positive affective states. We propose that the zoo community also should increase efforts to integrate measures of positive affect into both population-level studies and tools for monitoring individual well-being. For years, zoo welfare researchers have conducted trans-disciplinary, multi-institutional studies to identify risk factors associated with poor welfare. In the future, large-scale research projects, as well as epidemiological studies specifically designed to examine the patterns of welfare issues within populations, should integrate behavioral, physiological, and biological measures of good well-being (e.g. play, exploratory behaviors, measures of immunological function). While the results of population-level studies can be used to refine animal care guidelines, individual animals should be monitored to ensure that their needs are being met. Furthermore, after determining how to elicit positive affective states in individual animals, the zoo community should attempt to promote these states by offering positive experiences. We describe two strategies that zoos can currently pursue to facilitate the occurrence of positive affective states: (1) provide animals with stimulating opportunities to overcome challenges, make choices, and have some level of control over their environments, and (2) promote appropriate and beneficial keeper−animal relationships. Ultimately, we hope that as welfare researchers gain a better understanding of how to assess and promote good well-being, zoos and aquaria can apply these findings to actively strive toward achieving the best possible welfare for all animals in their care.

Tara S. Stoinski, Kristen E. Lukas, Christopher W. Kuhar, Effects of age and group type on social behaviour of male western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in North American zoos, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 147, Issues 3–4, August 2013, Pages 316-323, ISSN 0168-1591, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2013.07.003.
The long-term management of male gorillas in zoos is a significant challenge. The demographics of the population – specifically a 50/50 sex ratio and the desire to form breeding groups that contain a single male and multiple females – necessitates housing a majority of adult males outside of mixed-sex groups. The primary approach for socially housing these individuals within the North American population has been the formation of all-male groups. Our previous research had found that captive all-male groups were cohesive and showed behavioural patterns similar to what had been observed in the wild. To gain a more complete understanding of male social dynamics as a function of group type, we examined social interactions among male gorillas living in either bachelor or mixed-sex groups. Subjects included 48 individuals ranging in age from 6 to 44 years. Overall, we found age to be the primary predictor of social behaviour. Rates of affiliative behaviour were highest in immaturity with a gradual shift to more dominance related behaviours (displacements, non-contact aggression) in young adulthood. Non-contact aggression increased as a function of number of adult males in the group, which likely accounts for higher rates of non-contact aggression in silverbacks living in all-male as compared to mixed-sex groups. The results further reiterate that all-male groups are a feasible, long-term housing strategy for male gorillas in zoos and highlight important considerations for male management including: introduction of males in immaturity, delayed formation of breeding groups until males reach social as well as physical maturity, and the role of dominance-related behaviours, as opposed to escalated aggression, in adult male interactions.

Staudinger, M. D., McAlarney, R. J., McLellan, W. A. and Ann Pabst, D. (2013), Foraging ecology and niche overlap in pygmy (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf (Kogia sima) sperm whales from waters of the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast. Marine Mammal Science. doi: 10.1111/mms.12064
A complementary approach of stomach content and stable isotope analyses was used to characterize the foraging ecology and evaluate niche overlap between pygmy (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf (K. sima) sperm whales stranded on the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast between 1998 and 201Food habits analysis demonstrated both species were primarily teuthophagous, with 35 species of cephalopods, and 2 species of mesopelagic fishes represented in their overall diets. Pianka’s Index of niche overlap suggested high overlap between whale diets (On = 0.92), with squids from the families Histioteuthidae, Cranchidae, and Ommastrephidae serving as primary prey. Pygmy sperm whales consumed slightly larger prey sizes (mean mantle length [ML] = 10.8 cm) than dwarf sperm whales (mean ML = 7.8 cm). Mean prey sizes consumed by pygmy sperm whales increased with growth, but showed no trend in dwarf sperm whales. Significant differences were not detected in δ15N and δ13C values of muscle tissues from pygmy (10.8‰ ± 0.5‰, −17.1‰ ± 0.6‰), and dwarf sperm whales (10.7‰ ± 0.5‰, −17.0‰ ± 0.4‰), respectively. Isotopic niche widths also did not differ significantly and dietary overlap was high between the two species. suggest the feeding ecologies of the pygmy and dwarf sperm whales are similar and both species occupy equivalent trophic niches in the region.

Giovanni Forcina, Panicos Panayides, Nikolaos Kassinis, Monica Guerrini, Filippo Barbanera, Genetic characterization of game bird island populations: The conservation of the black francolin (Francolinus francolinus) of Cyprus, Journal for Nature Conservation, Available online 30 August 2013, ISSN 1617-1381, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2013.07.004.
The release of exotic genotypes into the wild can lead to the extinction of local demes through the hybridization among distinct gene pools. This may occur between wild specimens and their domesticated relatives. Escaped pets represent a well-known pathway for the introduction of allochtonous resources, and island environments require major attention as they include small-sized and naïve populations that may be prone to extinction. We characterized the genetic make-up of the black francolin (Francolinus francolinus, Phasianidae) resident to Cyprus using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA for the purpose of sustainable use and long-term protection of this game species. We collected 59 samples of specimens hunted in the districts of Nicosia and Paphos, while others (n = 18) were obtained from birds of unknown origin. These had been imported to a pet-centre in Nicosia, the largest in the capital offering animals either for production or leisure purposes. Both genetic systems pointed to the occurrence of distinct wild district populations that could be treated as separate management units. The non-significant value of the inbreeding coefficient (FIS) computed for Nicosia and Paphos populations (−0.039 and −0.189, respectively: P > 0.05) and the lack of evidence for recent genetic bottlenecks did not indicate a serious risk of over-hunting. The microsatellites revealed the birds in the pet-centre as highly genetically divergent with respect to the wild ones, the mtDNA pointed to their assignment to alien Asian subspecies once they were compared to141 sequences of allopatric francolins. We advised the Game & Fauna Service to consider law enforcement to ban the import, detention and sale of these subspecies to protect the black francolin population native to Cyprus. The results are discussed in the context of a bibliographic frame including the partridges of the genus Alectoris (Phasianidae) as a model group with reference to genetic characterization and conservation of game bird island populations.

Zootaxa 3702 (6): 545–565 (30 Aug. 2013)
A new tree frog in the genus Polypedates (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from southern Thailand
ATTAPOL RUJIRAWAN, BRYAN L. STUART & ANCHALEE AOWPHOL

We describe a new species of Southeast Asian rhacophorid frog belonging to the Polypedates leucomystax species complex from Songkhla Province, southern Thailand. Polypedates discantus sp. nov. is distinguished from its congeners by the
combination of having the skin of the head not co-ossified with the skull; absent or indistinct white dots on the back of the thigh; paired-vocal sac openings; and a round tubercle on the tibiotarsal articulation. The new species is also distinguished from
P. leucomystax and P. megacephalus in univariate and multivariate analyses of quantitative morphometric characters, and has uncorrected pairwise distances of 6.61–7.16% from its closest relative, P. leucomystax, in the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene
The new species has four distinct male advertisement call types, consisting of one-note, two-note, three-note and staccato calls. The new species occurs syntopically with P. leucomystax at the type locality.

Zootaxa 3709 (1): 095–100 (3 Sept. 2013)
A new species of the genus Hypleurochilus (Teleostei: Blenniidae) from Trindade Island and Martin Vaz Archipelago, Brazil
HUDSON T. PINHEIRO, JOÃO LUIZ GASPARINI & CARLOS A. RANGEL

A new species of the genus Hypleurochilus, endemic to Trindade Island and Martin Vaz Archipelago, off Brazil, is described. Hypleurochilus brasil sp. n. differs from its congeners in color pattern and anal-ray counts. A recent study shows a close relationship between H. brasil sp. n. and H. fissicornis. This new species is recorded from 3 to 15 m depth, solitary or in small groups (up to 10 individuals), always in small holes or associated with sea-urchins and sponges on the rocky reefs. Hypleurochilus brasil sp. n. is the eleventh recognized species of Hypleurochilus and the third species of this genus reported from the Brazilian Province.

Rannveig Magnusdottir, Menja von Schmalensee, Robert A. Stefansson, David W. Macdonald, Pall Hersteinsson, A foe in woe: American mink (Neovison vison) diet changes during a population decrease, Mammalian Biology – Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, Available online 2 September 2013, ISSN 1616-5047, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2013.08.002.
The invasive American mink has been a component of Iceland’s fauna since the 1930s. Hunting statistics indicate that until 2003 the population size was increasing, but thereafter decreased rapidly. The Icelandic marine environment has experienced various changes in recent years, including rising sea temperature and sand-eel collapse followed by seabird recruitment failure and population declines. Furthermore the arctic fox population has increased at least six-fold in the last three decades. Mink stomach content analysis in the period 2001–2009 revealed diet changes, and signs of reduced prey availability for this generalist predator, that were most significant in males. The most marked shift in composition was a decrease in consumption of birds. Our findings suggest that climate events, together with competition with increasing numbers of arctic foxes over terrestrial food, contributed to the sharp reduction in the mink population from 2004 and onwards. Despite their generalist behaviour, mink have apparently failed to respond fully to these environmental changes, and this susceptibility may benefit attempts to control their numbers. The results are relevant to the ability of top predators in general to cope with diverse ecosystem alterations triggered by climate change.

Anna Ilona Roberts, Samuel George Bradley Roberts, Sarah-Jane Vick
The repertoire and intentionality of gestural communication in wild chimpanzees
Animal Cognition September 2013

A growing body of evidence suggests that human language may have emerged primarily in the gestural rather than vocal domain, and that studying gestural communication in great apes is crucial to understanding language evolution. Although manual and bodily gestures are considered distinct at a neural level, there has been very limited consideration of potential differences at a behavioural level. In this study, we conducted naturalistic observations of adult wild East African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in order to establish a repertoire of gestures, and examine intentionality of gesture production, use and comprehension, comparing across manual and bodily gestures. At the population level, 120 distinct gesture types were identified, consisting of 65 manual gestures and 55 bodily gestures. Both bodily and manual gestures were used intentionally and effectively to attain specific goals, by signallers who were sensitive to recipient attention. However, manual gestures differed from bodily gestures in terms of communicative persistence, indicating a qualitatively different form of behavioural flexibility in achieving goals. Both repertoire size and frequency of manual gesturing were more affiliative than bodily gestures, while bodily gestures were more antagonistic. These results indicate that manual gestures may have played a significant role in the emergence of increased flexibility in great ape communication and social bonding.

Gerald Post, Bivash Pandav
Comparative evaluation of tiger reserves in India
Biodiversity and Conservation September 2013

Evidence is vital. Understanding what interventions are effective is critical for the conservation of wild tigers and conservation biology in general. We evaluated the effectiveness of tiger reserves within India, a country with more than half of the estimated wild tiger population, with comparative effectiveness research. Other complex environments, medicine and business use these techniques where cause and effects are often non-linear. These techniques also allowed us to evaluate data from the small sample size often seen in conservation interventions. The opinions of three tiger experts were used to generate a list of seven tiger reserves classified as successful and five reserves as failures. We also used expert opinion to identify any key individuals that garnered widespread support for tiger conservation at any of the identified reserves. Using data from the Indian Census, World Database on Protected Areas, and the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, we analyzed the human population around the tiger reserves. We found two surprising insights that have received scant attention in the peer-reviewed literature. First, one can achieve tiger conservation success even within a densely populated human landscape where a high percentage of the population is involved in agriculture. Second, the presence of “conservation champions” can dramatically affect the performance of individual reserves and have positive outcomes for tiger conservation.

Carniatto, N., Thomaz, S. M., Cunha, E. R., Fugi, R. and Ota, R. R. (2013), Effects of an Invasive Alien Poaceae on Aquatic Macrophytes and Fish Communities in a Neotropical Reservoir. Biotropica. doi: 10.1111/btp.12062
We investigated the potential effects of an invasive alien Poaceae (Urochloa arrecta) on the abundance, richness, and composition of native macrophytes and fish. Samples were collected in patches of macrophytes dominated by the invasive species and in others dominated by a native macrophyte (Eichhornia azurea). We assessed the potential effects of these two species on macrophyte and fish abundance and richness, as well as in fish assemblage composition. The effects of both macrophytes did not differ when they were in similar, low biomasses. Consistent with our expectations, however, the abundance of native macrophytes and fish decreased with increasing U. arrecta biomass, and both assemblages were eliminated at the extreme high levels of biomass attained by this species. In contrast, E. azurea did not affect the assemblages because this native species never reached levels of biomass as high as those recorded for the invasive species. Competition for space and light most likely determines the elimination of macrophytes in patches that are extensively colonized by U. arrecta, whereas fish assemblages do not occupy these patches due most likely to the limited space available for movement and foraging. Thus, U. arrecta is a source of concern for biodiversity conservation because it has negative influences on both assemblages when it is well developed, which is true in the later stages of the invasion process.

Tonkin, Z., Ramsey, D. S. L., Macdonald, J., Crook, D., King, A. J. and Kaus, A. (2013), Does localized control of invasive eastern gambusia (Poeciliidae: Gambusia holbrooki) increase population growth of generalist wetland fishes?. Austral Ecology. doi: 10.1111/aec.12088
While invasive fish management is heavily focussed on containment measures when introductions occur, examples from invasive species management in terrestrial systems suggest that there may also be considerable conservation benefits in implementing localized control programmes. We conducted a field-based experiment to assess the effectiveness of removing a globally significant invasive fish, eastern gambusia Gambusia holbrooki, from natural wetland habitats of south-eastern Australia. With recent work suggesting the impacts of eastern gambusia may be minimal for species with generalist life-history strategies, we hypothesized that the removal of eastern gambusia will reduce localized population growth of the invasive species, but will have little influence on the population growth of more generalist sympatric wetland fish species. We used a predictive modelling approach to investigate changes in eastern gambusia populations following removal activities, and how sympatric fish species responded to such changes. Although eastern gambusia rapidly populated habitats, we demonstrated that control actions substantially reduced the rate of population increase over the four-month study period. This suggests that control may be an effective localized strategy to suppress eastern gambusia densities. There was however, no evidence of any response to the removal actions by any of the three sympatric fish species investigated – carp gudgeon (Hypseleotris spp.), Australian smelt (Retropinna semoni) and the invasive common carp (Cyprinus carpio). These results support previous work which suggests that the flexible life-history strategies and behavioural traits of all three species allow co-existence with eastern gambusia. The study highlights the importance of understanding the potential outcomes of control options which is particularly pertinent for established aquatic invasive species where information on control effectiveness, population dynamics and/or ecosystem response is currently lacking.

Karlsen, B. O., Klingan, K., Emblem, Å., Jørgensen, T. E., Jueterbock, A., Furmanek, T., Hoarau, G., Johansen, S. D., Nordeide, J. T. and Moum, T. (2013), Genomic divergence between the migratory and stationary ecotypes of Atlantic cod. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.12454
Atlantic cod displays a range of phenotypic and genotypic variations, which includes the differentiation into coastal stationary and offshore migratory types of cod that co-occur in several parts of its distribution range and are often sympatric on the spawning grounds. Differentiation of these ecotypes may involve both historical separation and adaptation to ecologically distinct environments, the genetic basis of which is now beginning to be unravelled. Genomic analyses based on recent sequencing advances are able to document genomic divergence in more detail and may facilitate the exploration of causes and consequences of genome-wide patterns. We examined genomic divergence between the stationary and migratory types of cod in the Northeast Atlantic, using next-generation sequencing of pooled DNA from each of two population samples. Sequence data was mapped to the published cod genome sequence, arranged in more than 6000 scaffolds (611 Mb). We identified 25 divergent scaffolds (26 Mb) with a higher than average gene density, against a backdrop of overall moderate genomic differentiation. Previous findings of localized genomic divergence in three linkage groups were confirmed, including a large (15 Mb) genomic region, which seems to be uniquely involved in the divergence of migratory and stationary cod. The results of the pooled sequencing approach support and extend recent findings based on single-nucleotide polymorphism markers and suggest a high degree of reproductive isolation between stationary and migratory cod in the North-east Atlantic.

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