The southern rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, shows clear phenotypic differences between shallow water (red coloured) and deeper water (pale coloured) individuals. Translocations of individuals from deeper water to shallower waters are currently being trialled as a management strategy to facilitate a phenotypic change from lower value pale colouration, common in deeper waters, to the higher value red colouration found in shallow waters. Although panmixia across the J. edwardsii range has been long assumed, it is critical to assess the genetic variability of the species to ensure that the level of population connectivity is appropriately understood and translocations do not have unintended consequences. Eight microsatellite loci were used to investigate genetic differentiation between six sites (three shallow, three deep) across southern Tasmania, Australia, and one from New Zealand. Based on analyses the assumption of panmixia was rejected, revealing small levels of genetic differentiation across southern Tasmania, significant levels of differentiation between Tasmania and New Zealand, and high levels of asymmetric gene flow in an easterly direction from Tasmania into New Zealand. These results suggest that translocation among Tasmanian populations are not likely to be problematic, however, a re-consideration of panmictic stock structure for this species is necessary. © 2013 Morgan et al.
Morgan, E. M. J., Green, B. S., Murphy, N. P., & Strugnell, J. M. (2013). Investigation of Genetic Structure between Deep and Shallow Populations of the Southern Rock Lobster, Jasus edwardsii in Tasmania, Australia. PLoS ONE, 8(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0077978