Ocean-scale connectivity and life cycle reconstruction in a deep-sea fish
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLongmore, C., Trueman, C. N., Neat, F., Jorde, P. E., Knutsen, H., Stefanni, S., . . . Mariani, S. (2014). Ocean-scale connectivity and life cycle reconstruction in a deep-sea fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 71(9), 1312-1323. doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2013-0343 10.1139/cjfas-2013-0343
As human exploration and harvesting moves to the high seas, ecological understanding of the deep sea has become a priority, especially in those commercially exploited species whose life cycle, habitat use, and demographic structure remain poorly understood. Here we combine otolith trace element and stable isotope analyses with microsatellite data to investigate population structure and connectivity in the migratory deep-sea black scabbardfish (Aphanopus carbo), sampled along a latitudinal gradient spanning much of the known species range in the Northeast Atlantic. In each sampled life stage, otolith trace element and oxygen isotope compositions are similar among fish from different capture locations, but otolith compositions vary greatly between life stages. Oxygen isotope compositions indicate ontogenetic migrations from relatively warm water conditions during larval growth to cooler waters with increasing age. Analysis of microsatellite DNA also suggests lack of genetic structure among the areas sampled. The multidisciplinary approach employed collectively suggests that A. carbo individuals undergo an ocean-scale ontogenetic migration, beginning with spawning in southern, warm-water Macaronesian areas (potentially dominated by Madeira), followed by a large proportion of immature fish moving to and feeding on the continental slope in northern areas. The results lend the first conclusive evidence for defining the life-history circuit of this species and the perception of its stock structure across the North Atlantic.
Author's version of an article in the journal: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Also available from the publisher at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2013-0343