Data from: Effect of oceanographic barriers and overfishing on the population genetic structure of the European spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas)
Palero, Ferran et al. (2011), Data from: Effect of oceanographic barriers and overfishing on the population genetic structure of the European spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.299h8
Defining population structure and genetic diversity levels is of the utmost importance for developing efficient conservation strategies. Overfishing has caused mean annual catches of the European spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas) to decrease alarmingly along its distribution area. In this context, there is a need for comprehensive studies to evaluate the genetic health of the exploited populations. The present work is based on a set of 10 nuclear markers amplified in 331 individuals from 10 different localities covering most of P. elephas distribution area. Samples from Atlantic and Mediterranean basins showed small but significant differences, indicating that P. elephas populations do not behave as a single panmictic unit but form two partially-overlapping groups. Despite intense overfishing, our dataset did not recover a recent bottleneck signal, and showed a large and stable historical effective size instead. This result could be accounted for by specific life history traits (reproduction and longevity) and the limitations of molecular markers in covering very recent timescales for non temporal samples. Our study emphasizes the necessity of integrating information on effective population sizes and life history parameters when evaluating population connectivity levels from genetic data.