Historical and contemporary population genetic connectivity of the European short-snouted seahorse Hippocampus hippocampus and implications for management

L. C. Woodall*, H. J. Koldewey, P. W. Shaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

This first genetic study of Hippocampus hippocampus covers the species' entire geographic range and employs two mtDNA markers (control region and cytochrome b) to establish patterns of population structuring. A total of 255 specimens from 21 locations were used to obtain 89 concatenated haplotypes. The common haplotype was present in all but one population, however, most haplotypes were unique. The haplotype network had a star-like construction, suggesting expansion from a bottleneck event. F-ST and AMOVA revealed population subdivision into three geographic regions (English Channel + Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea + Atlantic Ocean Iberian coast + Macaronesian Islands, and West Africa) with barriers to gene flow indentified at Cape Finisterre and the Cape Verde frontal zone. Neutrality tests and nested clade analysis suggest a complex demographic history, with both historic events and contemporary processes shaping patterns of genetic differentiation. The genetic population subdivision detected in this study indicates that H. hippocampus should be managed as three separate units. This is especially pertinent as H. hippocampus populations within the West African region are the only ones known to be specifically targeted for exploitation. (C) 2011 The Authors Journal of Fish Biology (C) 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1738-1756
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume78
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • NORTHEASTERN ATLANTIC
  • FISH
  • COLONIZATION
  • GOBY POMATOSCHISTUS-MINUTUS
  • mtDNA
  • Syngnathidae
  • DIFFERENTIATION
  • MEDITERRANEAN SEA
  • conservation
  • MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
  • VERDE FRONTAL ZONE
  • MITOCHONDRIAL-DNA PHYLOGEOGRAPHY
  • CONSERVATION
  • cytb

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