Reproductive performance links to fine-scale spatial patterns of female grey seal relatedness

Patrick Pomeroy, J Worthington Wilmer, W Amos, SD Twiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Fine–scale spatial patterns of female relatedness throughout the established grey seal breeding colony of North Rona, Scotland, were investigated by accurate mapping and spatially explicit analyses of a large sample (n=262) of mothers using variation at nine microsatellite DNA loci. Local spatial autocorrelation analyses identified locations where seals were more highly related to the colony than average. These locations were also areas where the more successful females bred, were occupied first during each breeding season, were centrally placed locations of preferred habitat types and were likely to be the locations which were the first to be colonized historically. Mothers occupying such sites achieved higher than average pup growth rates, suggesting a founder fitness benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-717
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1468
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2001


  • Grey seals
  • Relatedness
  • Fitness
  • Reproduction
  • Spatial patterns
  • GIS
  • Habitat quality
  • Topography


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