Integrating molecular identification of pelagic eggs with geostatistical mapping to improve the delineation of North Sea fish spawning grounds

Lelievre, Stephanie, Jerome, Marc, Maes, Gregory E., Vaz, Sandrine, Calaivany, Sachidhanandam, and Verrez-Bagnis, Veronique (2012) Integrating molecular identification of pelagic eggs with geostatistical mapping to improve the delineation of North Sea fish spawning grounds. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 445. pp. 161-172.

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Maps of the spawning grounds of commercially important fishes are necessary when assessing the level of connectivity between life stages of fishes and for identifying ecologically valuable marine areas. A first step toward mapping the spawning grounds is a reliable and rapid species identification of pelagic fish eggs to assess the spatio-temporal distribution of spawning aggregations. As many species have similar egg sizes and morphology, the molecular validation of visually identified eggs is often essential for the use of such data in fisheries management. In the present study, we developed a rapid 16S rRNA PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay to distinguish between formalin-fixed fish eggs of dab Limanda limanda, flounder Platichthys flesus and pout Trisopterus spp., which were collected during the 2008 International Bottom Trawl Survey in the Eastern English Channel and southern North Sea. A comparison of the rapid 16S rRNA PCR-RFLP method with initial visual identification revealed 93% of correct identifications for dab, 90% for pout, but only 64% for flounder, representing an overall error rate of 17%. Visual misidentification occurred mainly between dab and flounder and between flounder and pout. Egg abundance and the relative proportions of each species were subsequently analysed geostatistically. Molecular identifications were incorporated to obtain corrected interpolated distribution maps, taking into account the results from molecular identifications as a correction factor. This highlighted the distinct spawning grounds for the 3 studied taxa and facilitated the identification of regions of high conservation value for these species.

Item ID: 27682
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1599
Keywords: fish eggs; PCR-RFLP; 16S rRNA; geostatistical analyses; distribution; spawning grounds
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Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2013 01:33
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070405 Fish Physiology and Genetics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 50%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8398 Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production > 839899 Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production not elsewhere classified @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 20%
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