Genetic and morphometric heterogeneity among recruits of the European eel, Anguilla anguilla

Pujolar, J.M., Maes, G.E., and Volckaert, F.A.M. (2007) Genetic and morphometric heterogeneity among recruits of the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. Bulletin of Marine Science, 81 (2). pp. 297-308.

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The recognition of the vulnerability of marine species to environmental conditions throughout their life-cycle has broadened the scope of investigations on factors influencing their population dynamics and demographics. The European eel Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) stock is declining rapidly due to overfishing, pollution, habitat degradation, diseases, and oceanic conditions. We analyzed arrival waves of glass eels collected in the Bay of Biscay and the western Mediterranean area during the period 2001-2003. We observed significant differences in length, weight, and condition between Atlantic and Mediterranean samples, and among arrival waves within sites. All samples were screened for genetic variation using ten allozyme and six microsatellite loci. We observed a pattern of genetic patchiness among arrival waves, namely a highly significant genetic differentiation without a temporal grouping of samples. Although natural selection and gene flow could also play a role, we suggest that the pattern observed results from the high variance in reproductive success in each spawning season. A low effective population size might have contributed to the current decline in the abundance of European eel. A precautionary approach to fisheries should be implemented in order to preserve maximal genetic potential to cope with changing anthropogenic and environment pressures.

Item ID: 34241
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1553-6955
Funders: EELREP
Projects and Grants: EELREP Q5RS-2001-01836
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2014 04:53
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 70%
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