|(Flat)fish stocks in an ecosystem and evolutionary perspective|In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Adaptation; Evolution; Fisheries; Gene Flow; Population Dynamics; Stock
The delineation of natural populations has many faces. While a stock relates to a management unit of organisms, the biological concept of a population may relate to a demographic/ecological perspective on interacting organisms or an evolving group of organisms. In addition, it has become increasingly clear that the time and spatial scales of the ecological and evolutionary population have much in common. Evolutionary population models, which are the focus of this paper, harbor independent information on census population size, population dynamics, population history and population connectivity. Fish populations continuously adapt to the changing environmental conditions. However, the impact of and response to fishing, climate and pollution stress are disconnected in time and lead to measurable changes in the genomes. Several new insights have emerged lately, such as the limited but biologically meaningful subtle genetic differentiation, the contribution of population connectivity, the consequences of the very small effective population sizes and the interaction between environment and evolution. This leads to the importance of management of the genetic monitoring of populations, the inclusion of adaptation in management models and the contribution of marine protected areas to guarantee the long term integrity of marine ecosystems. Of immediate significance is the match between stocks and the biological population model.