Jolly, Marc T., Aprahamian, Miran W. and Hawkins, Stephen J. et al.
Population genetic structure of protected allis shad (Alosa alosa) and twaite shad (Alosa fallax)
Marine Biology, 159, (3), . (doi:10.1007/s00227-011-1845-x).
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Determining the magnitude of homing behaviour within migratory fish species is essential for their conservation and management. We tested for population genetic structuring in the anadromous alosines, Alosa alosa and A. fallax fallax, to establish fidelity of stocks to spawning grounds in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Considerable genetic differences were present among populations of both species, suggesting strong fidelity to breeding grounds and compatible with homing to natal origins. Moreover, the genetic structure of A. fallax fallax showed a clear pattern of isolation-by-distance, consistent with breeding populations exchanging migrants primarily with neighbouring populations. Spatial genetic differences were on average much greater than temporal differences, indicating relatively stable genetic structure. Comparing anadromous A. fallax fallax populations to the landlocked Killarney shad subspecies, A. fallax killarnensis (Ireland), demonstrated a long history of separation. These results demonstrating regional stock structure within the British Isles will inform practical management of stocks and their spawning habitats.
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