The genetic effective and adult census size of an Australian population of tiger prawns (Penaeus esculentus)

Authors

  • JENNIFER R. OVENDEN,

    1. Molecular Fisheries Laboratory, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Floor 6, North Tower, Queensland Biosciences Precinct, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072 Australia,
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  • DAVID PEEL,

    1. Molecular Fisheries Laboratory, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Floor 6, North Tower, Queensland Biosciences Precinct, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072 Australia,
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    • Present address: CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia.

  • RAEWYN STREET,

    1. Molecular Fisheries Laboratory, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Floor 6, North Tower, Queensland Biosciences Precinct, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072 Australia,
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  • ANTHONY J. COURTNEY,

    1. Molecular Fisheries Laboratory, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Floor 6, North Tower, Queensland Biosciences Precinct, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072 Australia,
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  • SIMON D. HOYLE,

    1. Molecular Fisheries Laboratory, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Floor 6, North Tower, Queensland Biosciences Precinct, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072 Australia,
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    • §

      Present address: Secretariat of the Pacific Community, BP D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia.

  • SAMANTHA L. PEEL,

    1. Molecular Fisheries Laboratory, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Floor 6, North Tower, Queensland Biosciences Precinct, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072 Australia,
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  • HEATHER PODLICH

    1. School of Land and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia Queensland 4072 Australia
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    • Present address: College of Business and Public Administration, Drake University, Des Moines, IA, USA.


Dr Jennifer Ovenden, Fax: +61 7 3346 2727; E-mail: jennifer.ovenden@dpi.qld.gov.au

Abstract

This study compares estimates of the census size of the spawning population with genetic estimates of effective current and long-term population size for an abundant and commercially important marine invertebrate, the brown tiger prawn (Penaeus esculentus). Our aim was to focus on the relationship between genetic effective and census size that may provide a source of information for viability analyses of naturally occurring populations. Samples were taken in 2001, 2002 and 2003 from a population on the east coast of Australia and temporal allelic variation was measured at eight polymorphic microsatellite loci. Moments-based and maximum-likelihood estimates of current genetic effective population size ranged from 797 to 1304. The mean long-term genetic effective population size was 9968. Although small for a large population, the effective population size estimates were above the threshold where genetic diversity is lost at neutral alleles through drift or inbreeding. Simulation studies correctly predicted that under these experimental conditions the genetic estimates would have non-infinite upper confidence limits and revealed they might be overestimates of the true size. We also show that estimates of mortality and variance in family size may be derived from data on average fecundity, current genetic effective and census spawning population size, assuming effective population size is equivalent to the number of breeders. This work confirms that it is feasible to obtain accurate estimates of current genetic effective population size for abundant Type III species using existing genetic marker technology.

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