Temporal analysis of archived samples indicates marked genetic changes in declining North Sea cod (Gadus morhua)

  • Hutchinson W
  • Van Oosterhout C
  • Rogers S
 et al. 
  • 178


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 155


    Citations of this article.


Despite increasing evidence that current exploitation rates can contribute to shifts in life-history traits and the collapse of marine fish stocks, few empirical studies have investigated the likely evolutionary impacts. Here, we used DNA recovered from a temporal series of archived North Sea cod (Gadus morhua) otoliths, to investigate genetic diversity within the Flamborough Head population between 1954 and 1998, during which time the population underwent two successive declines. Microsatellite data indicated a significant reduction in genetic diversity between 1954 and 1970 (total number of alleles: 1954, 46; 1960, 42; 1970, 37), and a subsequent recovery between 1970 and 1998 (total number of alleles: 1970, 37; 1981, 42; 1998, 45). Furthermore, estimates of genetic differentiation (F(ST) and R(ST)) showed a significant divergence between 1998 and earlier samples. Data are consistent with a period of prolonged genetic drift, accompanied by a replacement of the Flamborough Head population through an increased effective migration rate that occurred during a period of high exploitation and appreciable demographic and phenotypic change. Other studies indicate that diversity at neutral microsatellite loci may be correlated with variability at selected genes, thus compromising a population's subsequent recovery and adaptive potential. Such effects are especially pertinent to North Sea cod, which are threatened by continuing exploitation and rising sea temperatures.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Ancient DNA
  • Bottleneck
  • Fishing impacts
  • Genetic diversity
  • Match-mismatch
  • Otolith

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • William F. Hutchinson

  • Cock Van Oosterhout

  • Stuart I. Rogers

  • Gary R. Carvalho

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free