Population genetics of coastal fish

Last changed: 13 January 2012

Fish species as perch, whitefish, pike and pikeperch are all key species in the coastal food web and of great socio-economical importance. In order to ensure long-term and biological management of the species, knowledge on the genetic population structure is pivotal.

Our institute has assessed the genetic structure of perch and whitefish along the Swedish coast to estimate the approximate size of potential management units. Currently we are in cooperation with Linda Laikre at the Department of Population Genetics, Stockholm University engaged in a project where the genetic structure of pike in the Baltic region is mapped (this is within the BONUS project BALTGENE). We are also involved in another BALTGENE project (together with Anti Vasemägi, Turku University) with the aim to assess the genetic structure of whitefish in the Baltic region. In this project, a comparison between neutral genetic variation and differences in meristic characters are also undertaken. Finally, in a newly established project, in cooperation with Johan Dannewitz and Stefan Palm (Institute of Freshwater Research, SLU-Aqua), we are mapping the genetic structure of coastal pikeperch to assess the effects of stocking and important recruitment areas in the species.

Previous genetic studies in collaboration with University of Uppsala have shown that flounder consist of two distinct stocks in the Baltic Sea while turbot show no such structure within the Baltic Sea.

Contact :

Jens Olsson and Ann Britt Florin

Publications on genetics of coastal fish:

J. Olsson, A.-B. Florin, K. Mo, T. Aho & N. Ryman.2012. Gentic structure of whitefish (Coregonus maraena) in the Baltic Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Svience. 97:104-113.

J. Olsson, K. Mo, A.-B. Florin, T. Aho & N. Ryman. Genetic population structure of perch Perca fluviatilis along the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea. Journal of Fish Biology, 79: 122–137.

Florin AB, Höglund J. 2008 Population structure of flounder (Platichthys flesus) in the Baltic Sea: differences among demersal and pelagic spawners. Heredity. 101: 27-38.

Florin AB, Höglund J. 2007. Absence of population structure in Baltic Sea turbot (Psetta maxima). Molecular Ecology, 16: 115-126.


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