Genetic analyses reveal temporal stability and connectivity pattern in blue and red shrimp Aristeus antennatus populations

Temporal variability of the genetic structure and connectivity patterns of the blue and red shrimp Aristeus antennatus in the seven most important fishing grounds of the Western Mediterranean Sea, were assessed using twelve microsatellite loci during 2 consecutive years (2016 and 2017), in a total of 1403 adult individuals. A high level of geographical connectivity among groups was observed in the two studied years. In fact, no significant geographical differentiation was found in 2016 (FST = 0.0018, p > 0.05), whereas it was indicated in 2017 (FST = 0.0025, p < 0.05). This small divergence in 2017 was not attributed to the distance among locations nor to the effect of the Ibiza Channel. Significant allele frequency changes were found at local level between the 2 years (FCT = 0.0006, p < 0.05), mainly due to Blanes' fishing ground. Larval dispersal from the North to the South through the main superficial current supports the high level of connectivity pattern found. The temporal genetic instability detected in the Blanes' fishing ground could be explained by oceanographic temporary features. Our findings evidence only one biological unit in the study region and establish the baseline for an interfederal management plan of A. antennatus ​
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