Evidence for discrete subpopulations of sea perch (Helicolenus ercoides) across four fjords in Fiordland, New Zealand

Lawton, R.J., Wing, S.R., and Lewis, A.M. (2010) Evidence for discrete subpopulations of sea perch (Helicolenus ercoides) across four fjords in Fiordland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 44 (4). pp. 309-322.

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In coastal populations of invertebrates and fishes, the distribution of discrete subpopulations is influenced by adult and larval dispersal, as well as by the effects of habitat heterogeneity on site fidelity or connectivity. Here, we examine evidence for spatial structure of sea perch, Helicolenus percoides, populations among four fjords in the Fiordland region of southwestern New Zealand. We examine patterns in adult morphology, length-at-age, δ13C and δ15N of muscle tissue, and trace elemental composition of whole otoliths as proxies for population isolation among the four inner fjord regions. A multivariate analysis of morphometrics reveals significant differences among populations from each of the four sites, suggesting existence of four distinct subpopulations. These patterns are consistent with observed differences in δ13C and δ15N, and length-at-age estimates among the four subpopulations. Differences in whole otolith concentrations of Sr, Ba, Mg and Li, and high classification scores based on the whole otolith elemental fingerprint are also consistent with significant subdivision among areas. Patterns across all four markers are consistent with discrete subpopulation structure of adult sea perch among the four study sites. These data indicate that the newly implemented network of marine protected areas in Fiordland is likely to contain discrete populations of sea perch.

Item ID: 16523
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1175-8805
Keywords: morphology; growth; stable isotopes; otolith microchemistry; metapopulation
Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 01:19
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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