Global determinants of freshwater and marine fish genetic diversity

Manel, Stephanie, Guerin, Pierre-Edouard, Mouillot, David, Blanchet, Simon, Velez, Laure, Albouy, Camille, and Pellissier, Loic (2020) Global determinants of freshwater and marine fish genetic diversity. Nature Communications, 11. 692.

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Genetic diversity is estimated to be declining faster than species diversity under escalating threats, but its spatial distribution remains poorly documented at the global scale. Theory predicts that similar processes should foster congruent spatial patterns of genetic and species diversity, but empirical studies are scarce. Using a mined database of 50,588 georeferenced mitochondrial DNA barcode sequences (COI) for 3,815 marine and 1,611 freshwater fish species respectively, we examined the correlation between genetic diversity and species diversity and their global distributions in relation to climate and geography. Genetic diversity showed a clear spatial organisation, but a weak association with species diversity for both marine and freshwater species. We found a predominantly positive relationship between genetic diversity and sea surface temperature for marine species. Genetic diversity of freshwater species varied primarily across the regional basins and was negatively correlated with average river slope. The detection of genetic diversity patterns suggests that conservation measures should consider mismatching spatial signals across multiple facets of biodiversity.

Item ID: 62488
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Copyright Information: Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
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Data availability The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available in the worldmap_fish_genetic_diversity repository, reservebenefit/worldmap_fish_genetic_diversity. The source data underlying Fig. 1b, d, 2a, c, 3a, c and Supplementary Figs. 1 to 7 are provided as a Source Data file.

Code availability All the scripts to reproduce the results are available in the worldmap_fish_genetic_diversity repository:

Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2020 07:36
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410203 Ecosystem function @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 100%
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