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Australian dolphin DNA map ready – News

The DNA map of Australian dolphins is ready, obtained thanks to 200 samples living along 3000 km of the southern coast: the census will provide key indicators for the protection of these animals and the environments in which they live, not only in Australia but also in other parts of the world. The finding came from a study published in the journal BMC Ecology and Evolution led by Australia’s Flinders University, and underscores the importance of genetic diversity for the adaptation of dolphins and animals in general to changes in ecosystems, for example due to climate change and human activities.

Andrea Barcelo, who leads the study, says, “Information about how the environment affects the DNA diversity of marine populations can help manage populations, and in predicting how to deal with climate change and other human impacts.” The data collected shows the existence of five groups of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), influenced by a number of environmental factors such as local currents, water temperatures and fluctuations in salinity levels.

Study co-author Luciana Muller adds, “It is important for those who manage our coastal environments to consider the importance of DNA diversity,” particularly in the event of changes in key environmental conditions, such as water temperature, salinity, and food sources.” The researchers also stress. On the need to keep different populations in contact with each other to promote the exchange of genetic material: a factor that improves the ability of animals to adapt to changes in their habitats.

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