Genetic patchiness among recruits in the European eel Anguilla anguilla

Pujolar, J.M., Maes, G.E., and Volckaert, F.A.M. (2006) Genetic patchiness among recruits in the European eel Anguilla anguilla. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 307. pp. 209-217.

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Heterogeneity in genetic composition among recruits of marine species is mostly due to a large variance in reproductive success mediated by oceanographic processes. Temporal genetic variation in a population of the European eel was quantified over 2 time scales among glass eel (1) interannual samples (cohorts), and (2) intra-annual samples within cohorts ('arrival waves'). A total of 789 glass eels comprising 11 different arrival waves were collected at Den Oever in The Netherlands over the period 2001 to 2003. All samples were screened for genetic variation using 10 allozyme and 6 microsatellite loci. The main result from this study is the highly significant genetic differentiation among arrival waves, despite the low FST values (FST = 0.0036). Heterogeneity in genetic composition was observed both among cohorts and among samples within cohorts. Genetic differentiation partitioned within cohorts was more than 10-fold the differences among cohorts. Genetic heterogeneity is likely to result from a large variance in the contribution of individuals to each cohort determined by genetic drift. Although natural selection and gene flow could also play a role in the observed genetic pattern, we suggest that large variances in reproductive success are a contributing factor to the recruit differentiation. If only a subset of the adults contribute to the new recruits, effective population size in European eel might be much lower than the census size. A low effective population size combined with fluctuating oceanic conditions might have contributed to the current dramatic decline in abundance of European eel.

Item ID: 34255
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1599
Keywords: allozymes, arrival waves, European eel, genetic patchiness, microsatellites
Funders: EU EELREP
Projects and Grants: EELREP Q5RS-2001-01836
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2014 04:23
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040501 Biological Oceanography @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 60%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 40%
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