The Effect of Differential Reproductive Success on Population Genetic Structure: Correlations of Life History With Matrilines in Humpback Whales of the Gulf of Maine

H. C. Rosenbaum
2002 Journal of Heredity  
To examine whether demographic and life-history traits are correlated with genetic structure, we contrasted mtDNA lineages of individual humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) with sighting and reproductive histories of female humpback whales between 1979 and 1995. Maternal lineage haplotypes were obtained for 323 whales, either from direct sequencing of the mtDNA control region (n = 159) or inferred from known relationships along matrilines from the sequenced sample of individuals (n = 164).
more » ... ividuals (n = 164). Sequence variation in the 550 bp of the control region defined a total of 19 maternal lineage haplotypes that formed two main clades. Fecundity increased significantly over the study period among females of several lineages among the two clades. Individual maternal lineages and other clades were characterized by significant variation in fecundity. The detected heterogeneity of reproductive success has the potential to substantially affect the frequency and distribution of maternal lineages found in this population over time. There were significant yearly effects on adult resighting rates and calf survivorship based on examination of sighting histories with varying capture-recapture probability models. These results indicate that population structure can be influenced by interactions or associations between reproductive success, genetic structure, and environmental factors in a natural population of long-lived mammals.
doi:10.1093/jhered/93.6.389 pmid:12642638 fatcat:i35xinrzyjaltf4cxhtajcau6e