PASCHETTA Carolina Andrea
Do changes in skull size of South American sea lions reflect changes in population density?
SOSA DROUVILLE, AILIN; PASCHETTA, CAROLINA; CRESPO, ENRIQUE ALBERTO ; GRANDI, MARÍA FLORENCIA
MARINE MAMMAL SCIENCE
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2021
Populations of the South American sea lion (SASL, Otariabyronia) have been intensely exploited for leather and oil indifferent parts of its distribution range throughout the 19thand 20th centuries, generating large changes in abundance. InPatagonia, the SASL population was reduced by more than90% of its original abundance, and it began to recover aftersealing ended. The aim of this work was to assess changes insize and shape of the skull related to changes in populationabundance during the last 100 years. Using geometric morphometry techniques, we analyzed 145 individuals (68 malesand 77 females) from Patagonia. Skulls were classified by sex,time period (harvest vs. postharvest), and decades of individual´s birth. Results indicated that there were differences inskull size but not in shape discriminated by time period.Moreover, individuals of the postharvest period showed adecrease in the skull size during the last two decades, coinciding with the recovery in population abundance. Our resultssuggest the existence of a density-dependence response insomatic growth of SASL population of Patagonia.