Evidence for population structuring of blue whiting (micromesistius poutassou) in the northeast atlantic
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Was, A. Gosling, E.; McCrann, K.; Mork, J. (2008). Evidence for population structuring of blue whiting (micromesistius poutassou) in the northeast atlantic. ICES Journal of Marine Science 65 (2), 216-225
Many marine fish species are characterized by large population sizes, strong migratory behaviour, high fecundity, and pelagic eggs and larvae that are subject to passive transport by ocean currents, all factors that tend to reduce the rate of development of genetic partitioning among localized populations. The blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) is a commercially important gadoid that exhibits all these characteristics, although to date there has been little evidence of genetic heterogeneity except at the latitudinal extremes of its range in the NE Atlantic. Genetic variation was analysed at five microsatellite loci in 16 samples, 14 comprising spawning adults, collected along the continental shelf from 44 degrees N to 60 degrees N, a distance of similar to 1900 km. Although pairwise F-ST values were low (0.0-0.040; mean 0.0097), more than 40% of the estimates were significant, with Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay samples significantly differentiated from samples from the Porcupine Bank, Hebridean Shelf, Sulisker Bank, and Papa Bank. There was also significant differentiation between samples taken in different years on Rockall Bank. Mantel tests revealed no significant isolation by distance. We used a landscape genetics approach, which combines spatial and genetic information, to detect barriers to gene flow. Four zones of lowered gene flow were identified, generally in concordance with hydrographic patterns, fish spawning behaviour, and the simulated transport of larvae in the NE Atlantic Ocean.