Genetic patterns in recovered specimens of Caretta caretta from the Adriatic Sea

Bertuccio, Valentina (2015) Genetic patterns in recovered specimens of Caretta caretta from the Adriatic Sea. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna, Documento ad accesso riservato.
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The Adriatic Sea is considered a feeding and developmental area for Mediterranean loggerhead turtles, but this area is severely threatened by human impacts. In the Adriatic Sea loggerhead turtles are often found stranded or floating, but they are also recovered as by-catch from fishing activities. Nevertheless, information about population structuring and origin of individuals found in the Adriatic Sea are still limited. Cooperation with fishermen and a good network of voluntary collaborators are essential for understanding their distribution, ecology and for developing conservation strategies in the Adriatic Sea. In this study, a comparative analysis of biometric data and DNA sequence polymorphism of the long fragment of the mitochondrial control region was carried out on ninety-three loggerheads recovered from three feeding areas in the Adriatic Sea: North-western, North-eastern and South Adriatic. Differences in turtles body sizes (e.g. Straight Carapace Length) among the three recovery areas and relationship between SCL and the type of recovery were investigated. The origin of turtles from Mediterranean rookeries and the use of the Adriatic feeding habitats by loggerheads in different life-stages were assessed to understand the migratory pathway of the species. The analysis of biometric data revealed a significant difference in turtle sizes between the Southern and the Northern Adriatic. Moreover, size of captured turtles resulted significantly different from the size of stranded and floating individuals. Actually, neritic sub-adults and adults are more affected by incidental captures than juveniles because of their feeding behavior. The Bayesian mixed-stock analysis showed a strong genetic relationship between the Adriatic aggregates and Mediterranean rookeries, while a low pro¬portion of individuals of Atlantic origin were detected in the Adriatic feeding grounds. The presence of migratory pathways towards the Adriatic Sea due to the surface current system was reinforced by the finding of individuals bearing haplotypes endemic to the nesting populations of Libya, Greece and Israel. A relatively high contribution from Turkey and Cyprus to the Northwest and South Adriatic populations was identified when the three sampled areas were analyzed independently. These results have to be taken in account in a conservative perspective, since coastal hazards, affecting the population of turtles feeding in the Adriatic Sea may also affect the nesting populations of the Eastern Mediterranean with a unique genetic pattern.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Bertuccio, Valentina
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Genetic pattern, Loggerhead, Adriatic Sea
Data di discussione della Tesi
19 Marzo 2015

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