Population structure of purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus along the Baja California peninsula

Authors

  • Nadia C OLIVARES-BAÑUELOS,

    1. Department of Biological Oceanography, CICESE, Km 107 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, and
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  • Luís M ENRÍQUEZ-PAREDES,

    1. Laboratorio de Ecología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Ensenada, Baja California, México CP 22860
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  • Lydia B LADAH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological Oceanography, CICESE, Km 107 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, and
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  • Jorge DE LA ROSA-VÉLEZ

    1. Laboratorio de Ecología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Ensenada, Baja California, México CP 22860
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    • a

      Deceased.


*Tel: 52–646–175–0500.
Fax: 52–646–175–0545. Email: lladah@cicese.mx

Abstract

Abstract:  Purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus is fished from British Columbia, Canada to Punta Baja, Mexico. The North American population has been divided into northern and southern fishery stocks at the break of Point Conception, but little is known about its southernmost distribution along the Mexican Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula. In this study purple sea urchin populations in six sites along the Baja California peninsula were analyzed using mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid restriction fragment length polymorphism (mtDNA RFLP). A homogeneous distribution of three common haplotypes among all sites was observed. A significant FST value, however, indicated genetic structure mainly due to the haplotype array in San Miguel, Isla Todos Santos and Punta Baja sites, which were characterized by having high haplotype diversity and several unique haplotypes. Homogeneous distribution of haplotypes along the peninsula could have been influenced by the unidirectional California Current system, flowing north to south. Unique haplotypes in Punta Baja and the structure found could be the result of local oceanographic features specific to this major upwelling zone. It may be necessary to consider the Punta Baja populations individually when managing the purple sea urchin fishery in Baja California, as they show signs of being a unique stock.

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