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Data from: Meta-analysis reveals lower genetic diversity in overfished populations


Pinsky, Malin L.; Palumbi, Stephen R. (2013), Data from: Meta-analysis reveals lower genetic diversity in overfished populations, Dryad, Dataset,


While population declines can drive the loss of genetic diversity under some circumstances, it has been unclear whether this loss is a general consequence of overharvest in highly abundant marine fishes. Here, we use a phylogenetic approach across 160 species and 11,658 loci to show that allelic richness was on average 11% lower (p < 0.0001) in overharvested populations, even after accounting for the effects of body size, latitude, and other factors. Heterozygosity was 2% lower (p = 0.030). Simulations confirmed that these patterns are consistent with a recent bottleneck in abundant species and also showed that our analysis likely underestimates the loss of rare alleles by a factor of two or three. This evidence suggests that overharvest drives the decay of genetic diversity across a wide range of marine fishes. Such reductions of genetic diversity in some of the world’s most abundant species may lead to a long-term impact of fishing on their evolutionary potential, particularly if abundance remains low and diversity continues to decay.

Usage Notes


South America
New Zealand
Pacific Islands
North America
Latin America