Effect of oceanographic barriers and overfishing on the population genetic structure of the European spiny lobster Palinurus elephas Journal Article

Author(s): Palero, Ferran; Abello, Pere; Macpherson, Enrique; Beaumont, Mark; Pascual, Marta
Article Title: Effect of oceanographic barriers and overfishing on the population genetic structure of the European spiny lobster Palinurus elephas
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Defining population structure and genetic diversity levels is of the utmost importance for developing efficient conservation strategies. Overfishing has caused mean annual catches of the European spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas) to decrease alarmingly along its distribution area. In this context, there is a need for comprehensive studies aiming to evaluate the genetic health of the exploited populations. The present study is based on a set of ten nuclear markers amplified in 331 individuals from ten different localities covering most of P. elephas distribution area. Samples from Atlantic and Mediterranean basins showed small but significant differences, indicating that P. elephas populations do not behave as a single panmictic unit but form two partially-overlapping groups. Despite intense overfishing, our dataset did not recover a recent bottleneck signal, and instead showed a large and stable historical effective size. This result could be accounted for by specific life-history traits (reproduction and longevity) and the limitations of molecular markers in covering recent timescales for nontemporal samples. The findings of the present study emphasize the need to integrate information on effective population sizes and life-history parameters when evaluating population connectivity levels from genetic data.
Keywords: Bayesian; coalescence; DAPC; diversity; long-lived species; microsatellites; phyllosoma; phylogeography
Journal Title: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume: 104
Issue 2
ISSN: 0024-4066
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell  
Date Published: 2011-09-14
Start Page: 407
End Page: 418
DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2011.01728.x
Notes: The present study could not have been carried out without the willing help of the following individuals who collected spiny lobster specimens and provided helpful information and discussions: J. Gironès, Professor D. Latrouite, Dr M. Castro, Dr M. Gristina, Dr N. Peristeraki, Dr K. Hiscock, E. Palero, N. Pascual, and N. Zaragoza. This work was supported by a pre-doctoral fellowship awarded by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia to F.P. (2006FIC-00082). Research was funded by projects FBBVA-BIOCON 08-187/09, CGL2006-13423, and CTM2007-66635. The authors are part of the research group 2009SGR-636, 2009SGR-655, and 2009SGR-1364 of the Generalitat de Catalunya. F.P. acknowledges EU-Synthesys grant (GB-TAF-4474).
Open access: no