High genetic diversity and lack of pronounced population structure in five species of sympatric Pacific eels

TitleHigh genetic diversity and lack of pronounced population structure in five species of sympatric Pacific eels
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGubili, C, Schabetsberger, R, Poellabauer, C, Bates, B, Wagstaff, RM, Woodward, LM, Sichrowsky, U, Scheck, A, Boseto, DT, Feunteun, E, Acou, A, Jehle, R
JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
Keywordsgenetic homogeneity, hybridisation, recruitment, Spawning, Sympatry, tropical eels

Understanding the population structure of tropical anguillids residing in the Pacific is vital for their conservation management. Here, the population genetic structure of five sympatric freshwater eels (Anguilla marmorata Quoy & Gaimard, A. megastoma Kaup, A. obscura Steindachner, A. reinhardtii Günther and A. australis Richardson) across 11 western South Pacific (WSP) islands was investigated based on partial nucleotide sequences of the mtDNA control region and the nuclear GTH2b genes of 288 newly collected samples jointly with existing sequences. WSP anguillids are characterised by overall high levels of genetic diversity. Both mtDNA and nuclear sequences provided no evidence for distinct geographic clines or barriers in any of the species across the WSP. The occurrence of admixed individuals between A. marmorata and A. megastoma was confirmed, and a new possible occurrence of a further species was revealed (A. interioris Whitley on Bougainville Island). All species showed evidence for demographic population growth in the Pleistocene, and a subsequent population reduction for A. megastoma. Common spawning grounds and mixing of larvae by ocean currents could promote the lack of pronounced isolation by distance, a finding that has significant implications for the future management of anguillids in the area.

Catégorie HCERES
ACL - Peer-reviewed articles
Publication coopération et recherche SUD