Data from: Strong population genetic structure and contrasting demographic histories for the small-spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) in the Mediterranean Sea
Kousteni, Vasiliki; Kasapidis, Panagiotis; Kotoulas, Georgios; Megalofonou, Persefoni (2014), Data from: Strong population genetic structure and contrasting demographic histories for the small-spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) in the Mediterranean Sea, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nf61r
Coastal and demersal chondrichthyans, such as the small-spotted catshark, are expected to exhibit genetic differentiation in areas of complex geomorphology like the Mediterranean Basin because of their limited dispersal ability. To test this hypothesis, we used a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene and 12 nuclear microsatellite loci in order to investigate the genetic structure and historical demography of this species, and to identify potential barriers to gene flow. Samples were collected from the Balearic Islands, the Algerian Basin, the Ionian Sea, the Corinthian Gulf and various locations across the Aegean Sea. Additional sequences from the Atlantic and the Levantine Basin retrieved from GenBank were included in the mitochondrial DNA analysis. Both mitochondrial and nuclear microsatellite DNA data revealed a strong genetic subdivision, mainly between the western and eastern Mediterranean, whereas the Levantine Basin shared haplotypes with both areas. The geographic isolation of the Mediterranean basins seems to enforce the population genetic differentiation of the species, with the deep sea acting as a strong barrier to its dispersal. Contrasting historical demographic patterns were also observed in different parts of the species' distribution, most notably a population growth trend in the western Mediterranean/Atlantic area and a slight decreasing one in the Aegean Sea. The different effects of the Pleistocene glacial periods on the habitat availability may explain the contrasting demographic patterns observed. The current findings suggest that the small-spotted catshark exhibits several genetic stocks in the Mediterranean, although further study is needed.