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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 64(3)

Crinkles in connectivity: combining genetics and other types of biological data to estimate movement and interbreeding between populations

Jennifer R. Ovenden

Molecular Fisheries Laboratory, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland Government, PO Box 6097, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia. Email: zljovend@uq.edu.au, Website: molecularfisherieslaboratory.com.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 64(3) 201-207 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF12314
Submitted: 6 November 2012  Accepted: 18 February 2013   Published: 18 March 2013

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Marine species generally have large population sizes, continuous distributions and high dispersal capacity. Despite this, they are often subdivided into separate populations, which are the basic units of fisheries management. For example, populations of some fisheries species across the deep water of the Timor Trench are genetically different, inferring minimal movement and interbreeding. When connectivity is higher than the Timor Trench example, but not so high that the populations become one, connectivity between populations is crinkled. Crinkled connectivity occurs when migration is above the threshold required to link populations genetically, but below the threshold for demographic links. In future, genetic estimates of connectivity over crinkled links could be uniquely combined with other data, such as estimates of population size and tagging and tracking data, to quantify demographic connectedness between these types of populations. Elasmobranch species may be ideal targets for this research because connectivity between populations is more likely to be crinkled than for finfish species. Fisheries stock-assessment models could be strengthened with estimates of connectivity to improve the strategic and sustainable harvesting of biological resources.

Additional keywords: Australia, demography, dispersal, elasmobranch, fisheries management, migration, Timor Trench.


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