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Data for: Spatial and temporal genetic variation in an exploited reef fish: The effects of exploitation on cohort genetic structure

Citation

Taboun, Zahra; Walter, Ryan; Ovenden, Jennifer; Heath, Daniel (2021), Data for: Spatial and temporal genetic variation in an exploited reef fish: The effects of exploitation on cohort genetic structure, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sbcc2fr5g

Abstract

Many coral reef fishes are fished, often resulting in detrimental genetic effects; however, reef fishes often show unpredictable patterns of genetic variation, which potentially mask the effects of fishing. Our goals were to characterize spatial and temporal genetic variation and determine the effects of fishing on an exploited reef fish, Plectropomus leopardus, Lacepède (the common coral trout). To determine population structure, we genotyped 417 Great Barrier Reef coral trout from four populations sampled in two years (1996 and 2004) at nine microsatellite loci. To test for exploitation effects, we additionally genotyped 869 individuals from a single cohort (ages 3-5) across eight different reefs, including fished and control populations. Genetic structure differed substantially in the two sampled years, with only one year exhibiting isolation by distance. Thus, genetic drift likely plays a role in shaping population genetic structure in this species. Although we found no loss of genetic diversity associated with exploitation, our relatedness patterns show that pulse fishing likely affects populations. Additionally, genetic structure in the cohort samples likely reflected spatial variation in recruitment contributing to genetic structure at the population level. Overall, we show that fishing does impact coral reef fishes, highlighting the importance of repeated widespread sampling to accurately characterize the genetic structure of reef fishes, as well as the power of analysing cohorts to avoid the impacts of recruitment-related genetic swamping. The high temporal and spatial variability in genetic structure, combined with possible selection effects, will make conservation/management of reef fish species complex.

Usage Notes

Genotypes for spatial/temporal samples: spatial_temporal_genepop_417.txt

Genotypes for cohort samples: cohort_genepop_all.txt

See README.txt for details on population codes.