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Temporal analysis of population genetic composition in the overexploited Japanese eel Anguilla japonica
Han, Y.-S.; Sun, Y.-L.; Liao, Y.-F.; Liao, I.-C.; Shen, K.-N.; Tzeng, W.-N. (2008). Temporal analysis of population genetic composition in the overexploited Japanese eel Anguilla japonica. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 155(6): 613-621.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Han, Y.-S.
  • Sun, Y.-L.
  • Liao, Y.-F.
  • Liao, I.-C.
  • Shen, K.-N.
  • Tzeng, W.-N.

    The Japanese eel has dramatically declined in Asia since the 1970s. Over the past two decades, glass eel productivity in Taiwan has decreased, but is highly variable among each year catch, though the cause for this is unknown. The impact of both population decline and instability on genetic diversity, however, is unknown. In this study, we investigated changes in allele frequencies of Japanese eel recruitment events over the past 20 years using six polymorphic microsatellite DNA loci. Specimens of glass eels were collected yearly from a single location in northern Taiwan from 1986 to 2007. Overall genetic differentiation among all samples was very low but significant (F ST = 0.002, P = 0.002), and only 2 out of 120 pairwise tests were significant. The relationship between genetic and temporal distance showed a slight but insignificant correlation (R 2 = 0.03, P = 0.0504). There were no overall significant differences in allelic richness (P = 0.35) or genetic heterozygosity (P = 0.73) among annual recruitment events. No apparent loss of genetic diversity and occurrence of a genetic bottleneck for eel populations were observed. Estimates of the effective population size (N e) generally exceeded 500, although confidence intervals were very wide. While El Niño /Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events had little impact on genetic diversity, they may account for the annual fluctuation in glass eel catch. These results indicate long-term stability of genetic diversity in the Japanese eel with little evidence for sweepstakes recruitment.

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