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Limited population structure in Northern and Spotted Wolffishes (Anarhichas denticulatus and A. minor) despite low apparent dispersal potential
McCusker, M.R.; Bentzen, P. (2011). Limited population structure in Northern and Spotted Wolffishes (Anarhichas denticulatus and A. minor) despite low apparent dispersal potential. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(8): 1869-1878. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-011-1698-3
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • McCusker, M.R.
  • Bentzen, P.

Abstract
    Northern and Spotted Wolffishes (Anarhichas denticulatus and A. minor) are demersal marine fishes listed as “threatened” in Canadian waters. Both species have unusually large benthic eggs and large size at hatch, which should reduce passive dispersal. We examined population differentiation with microsatellite and AFLP loci across the ranges of both species in the North Atlantic Ocean. Although significant population structure was documented, differentiation was less than expected based on knowledge of life history characteristics. Significant differentiation was found in Northern Wolffish between the Barents Sea and other samples based on both microsatellite and AFLP data. In contrast, population structure in the Spotted Wolffish was notably weaker, particularly with microsatellites. Both species were characterized by low genetic diversity for marine fishes and had significantly lower genetic diversity than the congeneric Atlantic Wolffish. This finding was consistent with the conservation status of these three species and suggests potential vulnerability to over-exploitation in Northern and Spotted Wolffishes.

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