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Frequency of multiple paternity in an unexploited tropical population of sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus)

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Elasmobranch mating systems have received growing attention in the past few years because of worldwide overexploitation of shark populations. Few studies to date have examined mating systems in sharks because of difficulty in sampling. The sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) is heavily harvested around the world and is the dominant species in the main commercial fishery for large coastal sharks in the United States. In contrast, Hawaii hosts one of the few unexploited populations of sandbar sharks and represents an opportunity to gather data on the reproductive biology of a vulnerable shark species without the confounding effects of fishing mortality. We examined the frequency of multiple paternity in Hawaiian sandbar sharks using 130 individuals (20 gravid females with three–eight pups each per litter) surveyed with six polymorphic microsatellite loci and determined that 8 of the 20 litters (40%) were multiple- sired. A Bayesian approach estimated the frequency of multiple mating in this population at 43.8%, with a 95% confidence interval of 23%–63%. We conclude that multiple paternity and genetic monogamy occur with roughly equal frequency in the Hawaiian sandbar shark population. This study may serve as groundwork for understanding the impact of commercial fishing pressure on elasmobranch mating systems.

Les systèmes de reproduction des élasmobranches suscitent de plus en plus d'intérêt depuis quelques années à cause de la surexploitation des populations de requins à l'échelle du globe. Jusqu'à présent, peu d'études ont examiné les systèmes de reproduction des requins à cause des difficultés d'échantillonnage. Le requin gris (Carcharhinus plumbeus) est intensément pêché à l'échelle mondiale et constitue l'espèce dominante dans la principale pêche commerciale de grands requins côtiers aux États-Unis. En revanche, il existe à Hawaii l'une des rares populations inexploitées de requins gris; c'est donc une occasion de recueillir des données sur la biologie reproductive de cette espèce de requin vulnérable sans avoir les effets confondants de la mortalité due à la pêche. Nous avons étudié la fréquence des paternités multiples chez les requins gris d'Hawaii d'après l'analyse de 6 locus microsatellites polymorphes chez 130 individus (20 femelles gravides possédant trois–huit petits par portée); 8 (40 %) des 20 portées comportaient des paternités multiples. Une méthodologie bayésienne permet d'estimer la fréquence des accouplements multiples à 43,8 %, avec un intervalle de confiance de 95 % de 23–63 %. Nous concluons que la paternité multiple et la monogamie génétique existent à peu près en parts égales dans la population de requins gris d'Hawaii. Notre étude peut servir de travail de base pour comprendre l'impact de la pression de la pêche commerciale sur les systèmes de reproduction des élasmobranches[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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