Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 4, pp 779–792 | Cite as

Geographic structure in Alaskan Pacific ocean perch (Sebastes alutus) indicates limited lifetime dispersal

  • Katie J. PalofEmail author
  • Jonathan Heifetz
  • Anthony J. Gharrett
Original Paper


Prevailing oceanographic processes, pelagic larvae, adult mobility, and large populations of many marine species often leads to the assumption of wide-ranging populations. Applying this assumption to more localized populations can lead to inappropriate conservation measures. The Pacific ocean perch (Sebastes alutus, POP) is economically and ecologically valuable, but little is known about its population structure and life history in Alaskan waters. Fourteen microsatellite loci were used to characterize geographic structure and connectivity of POP collections (1999–2005) sampled along the continental shelf break from Dixon Entrance to the Bering Sea. Despite opportunities for dispersal, there was significant, geographically related genetic structure (F ST = 0.0123, P < 10−5). Adults appear to belong to neighborhoods at geographic scales less than 400 km, and possibly as small as 70 km, which indicates limited dispersal throughout their lives. The population structure observed has a finer geographic scale than current management, which suggests that measures for POP fisheries conservation should be revisited.


Stepwise Mutation Model Infinite Allele Model Panmictic Population National Marine Fishery Service Life History Information 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank R. Waples and L. Hauser for their helpful comments and review. We thank N. Hillgruber for serving on the graduate committee and for her helpful comments. We thank Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries personnel who took tissue samples for this study during trawl surveys. This research was supported by: Alaska Sea Grant College Program, Cooperative Institute for Artic Research (CIFAR), NOAA Fisheries-Auke Bay Laboratories, Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center, and the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center (PCCRC), School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK. This work represents, in part, the master’s work of K. Palof at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Supplementary material

227_2010_1606_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (112 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 112 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie J. Palof
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jonathan Heifetz
    • 2
  • Anthony J. Gharrett
    • 1
  1. 1.Fisheries Division, School of Fisheries and Ocean SciencesUniversity of Alaska FairbanksJuneauUSA
  2. 2.Auke Bay Laboratories, Alaska Fisheries Science CenterNational Marine Fisheries Service, NOAAJuneauUSA

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