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Temporally stable genetic structure of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) in Swedish waters but indications of small local effective population size
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
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Manuscript (Other academic)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25649OAI: diva2:200121
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8338Available from: 2008-11-27 Created: 2008-11-20 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Disentangling small genetic differences in large Atlantic herring populations: comparing genetic markers and statistical power
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disentangling small genetic differences in large Atlantic herring populations: comparing genetic markers and statistical power
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Genes are the foundation of evolution and biodiversity. The genetic structure of natural populations needs to be understood to maintain exploited resources rationally. This thesis focuses on genetic variability and methods to determine spatial and temporal genetic heterogeneities. Intense human exploitation generates particular challenges to conserve genetic diversity of fishes since it has genetic effects. My research concerns one of our most valuable fish species: the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus).

I analyzed Atlantic herring samples from the North and Baltic Seas. The objectives were to determine: 1) spatial genetic structure, 2) whether allozymes and microsatellites provide similar descriptions of the differentiation pattern, or 3) if they are influenced by selection, 4) factors affecting statistical power when testing for genetic differentiation, and 5) the temporal stability of the genetic structure.

The results show: 1) very low levels of spatial genetic differentiation in Atlantic herring; a major component is a difference between the Baltic and North Seas, 2) a concordant pattern with allozymes and microsatellites, 3) that selection influences a microsatellite locus, which can be a low salinity adaptation, 4) that statistical power is substantial for frequently used sample sizes and markers; the difference in power between organelle and nuclear loci is partly dependent on the populations’ stage of divergence, and 5) no changes in amount of genetic variation or spatial genetic structure over a 24-year period; the selection pattern in one microsatellite locus remained.

The notion that the large population sizes make herring unlikely to lose genetic diversity may be disputed. I found small local effective population sizes, and the evidence of selection hints of a distinct evolutionary lineage in the Baltic. When Atlantic herring is managed as very large units, there can be detrimental genetic effects if certain population segments are excessively harvested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Zoologiska institutionen, 2008. 45 p.
conservation genetics, marine fish, spatial and temporal genetic variation, molecular marker comparison, allozyme, microsatellite, selection, fisheries management
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Population Genetics
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8338 (URN)978-91-7155-780-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-12-19, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 12 A, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2008-11-27 Created: 2008-11-20Bibliographically approved

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