Distance matrices used to investigate loggerhead sea turtle genetic structure.
The genetic structure of sea turtles nesting in the southeastern USA has been characterized extensively. Here we provide three distance matrices that we used to further investigate the population structure of loggerhead turtles this region. Because sea turtles use geomagnetic navigation to return to nest on their natal beaches, we might expect a relationship between the genetic differentiation between nesting beaches and the unique magnetic signatures that mark them. To investigate this idea we used the three distance matrices included here as well as previously reported metrics of genetic differentiation. Magnetic distance represents the difference in the magnetic signatures that have historically marked each of 20 nesting beaches across the southeastern USA. Geographic distance represents the shortest oversea distance between each possible combination of the 20 nesting beaches. Environmental distance represents the difference in the environmental characteristics at each of the 20 nesting beaches.