Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Genetic population structure of harbour seals in the United Kingdom and neighbouring waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Morten Tange Olsen, Valentina Islas, Jeff A. Graves, Aubrie Onoufriou, Cecile Vincent, Sophie Brasseur, Anne Kristine Frie, Ailsa J. Hall

School/Research organisations

Abstract

1.  In the United Kingdom (UK), several harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) populations have been declining over the past decade. In order to understand the effect of these changes in abundance, this study seeks to determine the population structure of harbour seals in the UK, and in Scotland in particular, on a wider and finer spatial scale than has previously been reported.
2.  Harbour seals were genotyped from 18 different localities throughout the UK and neighbouring localities in mainland Europe, at 12 microsatellite loci. Results from Bayesian and frequency based tests of population structure suggested an initial structural division into two main groups consisting of localities in northern UK and southern UK-mainland Europe, respectively.
3.  These two clusters were further divided into four geographically distinct genetic clusters.
4.  An overall agreement between the genetic results and the existing management areas for UK harbour seals was observed, but it is also clear that an adaptive management approach should be adopted, in which the delineation of the current management areas is maintained until further genetic and ecological information has been accumulated and analysed.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-845
Number of pages7
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume27
Issue number4
Early online date7 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

    Research areas

  • Coastal, Genetics, Mammal, Microsatellite loci, Phoca vitulina, Seal Management Units

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Mercury in cetaceans: exposure, bioaccumulation and toxicity

    Kershaw, J. & Hall, A., 30 Jul 2019, In : Science of the Total Environment. 694, p. 1-11 11 p., 133683.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Age–length relationships in UK harbour seals during a period of population decline

    Hall, A. J., Mackey, B., Kershaw, J. L. & Thompson, P., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 61-70 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Investigating decadal changes in persistent organic pollutants in Scottish grey seal pups

    Robinson, K. J., Hall, A. J., Scholl, G., Debier, C., Thomé, J-P., Eppe, G., Adam, C. & Bennett, K. A., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 86-100 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Assessing cetacean body condition: is total lipid content in blubber biopsies a useful monitoring tool?

    Kershaw, J. L., Brownlow, A., Ramp, C. A., Miller, P. J. O. & Hall, A. J., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 271-282 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Shining new light on mammalian diving physiology using wearable near-infrared spectroscopy

    McKnight, J. C., Bennett, K., Bronkhorst, M., Russell, D. JF., Balfour, S., Milne, R., Bivins, M., Moss, S. E. W., Colier, W., Hall, A. J. & Thompson, D., 18 Jun 2019, In : PLoS Biology. 17, 6, 20 p., e3000306.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems (Journal)

    Monica Arso Civil (Reviewer)
    Jul 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Age–length relationships in UK harbour seals during a period of population decline

    Hall, A. J., Mackey, B., Kershaw, J. L. & Thompson, P., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 61-70 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Assessing cetacean body condition: is total lipid content in blubber biopsies a useful monitoring tool?

    Kershaw, J. L., Brownlow, A., Ramp, C. A., Miller, P. J. O. & Hall, A. J., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 271-282 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Automated detection and tracking of marine mammals: a novel sonar tool for monitoring effects of marine industry

    Hastie, G. D., Wu, G-M., Moss, S., Jepp, P., MacAulay, J. D. J., Lee, A., Sparling, C. E., Evers, C. H. M. & Gillespie, D. M., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 119-130

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Changing distribution of the east coast of Scotland bottlenose dolphin population and the challenges of area-based management

    Arso Civil, M., Quick, N. J., Cheney, B., Pirotta, E., Thompson, P. M. & Hammond, P. S., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 178-196 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 249016083