Reconstructed paternal genotypes reveal variable rates of multiple paternity at three rookeries of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Western Australia

Jamie Tedeschi, Nicola Mitchell, Oliver Berry, Scott David Whiting, Mark G Meekan, W Kennington

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Female sea turtles are promiscuous, with clutches of eggs often sired by multiple males and rates of multiple paternity varying greatly within and across species. We investigated levels of multiple paternity in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from three rookeries in Western Australia by analysing polymorphic species-specific genetic markers. We predicted that the level of multiple paternity would be related to female population size and hence the large rookery at Dirk Hartog Island would have higher rates of multiple paternity than two smaller mainland rookeries at Gnaraloo Bay and Bungelup Beach. Contrary to our prediction, we found highly variable rates of multiple paternity among the rookeries that we sampled, which was unrelated to female population size (25% at Bungelup Beach, 86% at Gnaraloo Bay, and 36% at Dirk Hartog Island). Approximately 45 different males sired 25 clutches and the average number of sires per clutch ranged from 1.2 to 2.1, depending on the rookery sampled. The variance in rates of multiple paternity among rookeries suggests that operational sex ratios are variable in Western Australia. Periodic monitoring would show whether the observed patterns of multiple paternity for these three rookeries are stable over time, and our data provide a baseline for detecting shifts in operational sex ratios.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)454-462
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
    Volume62
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reconstructed paternal genotypes reveal variable rates of multiple paternity at three rookeries of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Western Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this