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Data from: Population genetics of the American eel (Anguilla rostrata): FST = 0 and NAO effects on demographic fluctuations of a panmictic species

Cite this dataset

Côté, Caroline L. et al. (2012). Data from: Population genetics of the American eel (Anguilla rostrata): FST = 0 and NAO effects on demographic fluctuations of a panmictic species [Dataset]. Dryad.


We performed population genetic analyses on the American eel (Anguilla rostrata) with three main objectives. First, we conducted the most comprehensive analysis of neutral genetic population structure to date in order to revisit the null hypothesis of panmixia in this species. Second, we used this data to provide the first estimates of contemporary effective population size (Ne) and to document temporal variation in effective number of breeders (Nb) in American eel. Third, we tested for statistical associations between temporal variation in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, the effective number of breeders and two indices of recruit abundance. A total of 2142 eels from 32 sampling locations were genotyped with 18 microsatellite loci. All measures of differentiation were essentially zero, and no evidence for significant spatial or temporal genetic differentiation was found. The panmixia hypothesis should thus be accepted for this species. Nb estimates varied by a factor of 23 among 12 cohorts, from 473 to 10 999. The effective population size Ne was estimated to be around 22 382. This study also showed that genetically based demographic indices, namely Nb and allelic richness (Ar), can be used as surrogates for the abundance of breeders and recruits, which were both shown to be positively influenced by variation during high (positive) NAO phases. Thus, long-term genetic monitoring of American glass eels at several sites along the North American Atlantic coast would represent a powerful and efficient complement to census monitoring to track demographic fluctuations and better understand their causes.

Usage notes


Maine 43.84N -69.65W West Harbor Pond
Connecticut 41.30N -72.40W Tyler River
Québec 45.31N -73.90W Beauharnois Dam
Ontario 45.01N -74.79W Moses-Saunders Dam
Québec 48.82N -64.83W Rivière Saint-Jean
Pennsylvania 40.05N -74.98W Crum Creek
Newfoundland 47.60N -53.26W Roberts Bay
North Carolina 34.77N -76.81W Black Creek
Québec 48.78N -67.69W Grande Rivière Blanche
Nova Scotia 45.84N -60.80W Bras d’Or Lake
Virginia 37.22N -76.49W Wormley Creek York
South Carolina 32.93N -80.01W Cooper River
Newfoundland 47.84N -59.26W Codroy River
New Jersey 39.56N -74.58W Patcong Creak Linwood
New Brunswick 47.09N -65.22W Miramichi Estuary
Nova Scotia 46.43N -61.10W Margaree Harbour
Nova Scotia 44.36N -64.46W La Have River
Massachusetts 41.68N -70.92W Parker River
Québec 45.44N -73.26W Chambly Dam
Delaware 38.59N -75.29W Millsboro Pond Spillway
Florida 30.02N -81.33W Guana River Dam
Québec 48.28N -68.95W Rivière du Sud-Ouest
New Hampshire 42.93N -70.86W Tayler River
Québec 49.52N -67.28W Rivière de la Petite Trinité
Nova Scotia 44.59N -64.17W Mira River
Prince Edward Island 46.43N -63.24W Rustico Bay
New Brunswick 47.52N -64.91W Tracadie River
New Brunswick 45.87N -66.15W Grand-Lake
Georgia 31.31N -81.47W Mornings-AR