Spatial versus temporal structure : implications of inter-haul variation and relatedness in the North East Atlantic Spurdog Squalus acanthias
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1. Micro-population processes, such as gene flow, operating within geographic regions are often poorly understood despite their potential to impact stock structure and sustainability. This is especially true for highly mobile species, such as elasmobranchs, where the potential for spatial overlap of regional populations is increased due to higher movement capabilities. A lack of information on these processes means management plans rarely consider spatio-temporal structure. 2. Spurdog (Squalus acanthias) are globally distributed throughout temperate regions yet there is an apparent lack of gene flow between ocean basins. In the North-east Atlantic, there is little work on gene flow within the region which is currently managed as a single stock that is estimated to be at 19% compared to 1905. Some evidence from this region suggests population processes which have the potential to cause structuring. 3. Population structure of NE Atlantic spurdog was investigated using an 828-bp fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region and seven focal polymorphic microsatellite markers. Samples from 295 individuals from eight locations throughout UK waters were used in this study. 4. Overall, mitochondrial sequences suggested some regional differentiation. Genetic diversity was comparable with that reported in previous studies of spurdog. Haplotype diversity (0.782 - 1) is amongst the highest observed for an elasmobranch. Microsatellite markers suggested a high level of relatedness was responsible for regional population structuring. There was no apparent spatial structure after removal of ‘full sibling’ relationships. 5. Inter-haul variation from Celtic Sea samples is suggestive of sub-populations and aggregation events which may have important implications for fisheries conservation of this, and other, elasmobranch species.
Thorburn , J , Jones , R , Neat , F , Pinto , C , Bendall , V , Hetherington , S , Bailey , D M , Noble , L & Jones , C 2018 , ' Spatial versus temporal structure : implications of inter-haul variation and relatedness in the North East Atlantic Spurdog Squalus acanthias ' , Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems , vol. Early View . https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2922
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2922
DescriptionThis work received funding from the MASTS pooling initiative (The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland), and their support is gratefully acknowledged. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions. The spurdog tissue samples collected by CEFAS were part of the European Fisheries Fund project ‘Shark By‐Watch UK’ and two DEFRA‐funded projects: MF047 ‘Spurdog, porbeagle and common skate by‐catch and discard reduction’ and M5201a ‘Assessing the survivability of bycaught porbeagle and spurdog and furthering our understanding of their movement patterns in UK marine waters’.
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