Marine Biology

, 163:165 | Cite as

Genetic diversity of reef fishes around Cuba: a multispecies assessment

  • Jessy Castellanos-GellEmail author
  • Aymée Robainas-Barcia
  • Fabián Pina-Amargós
  • Pedro Chevalier-Monteagudo
  • Cushla Metcalfe
  • Wagner Franco Molina
  • Didier Casane
  • Erik García-MachadoEmail author
Original paper


We aimed to identify biotic and abiotic factors underlying genetic structure and diversity of reef fish around Cuba. For three species, Stegastes partitus, Haemulon flavolineatum and Acanthurus tractus, we investigated the effects of shared environmental factors, such as the geography of the Cuban Archipelago, and specific characteristics, such as life history traits, on genetic structure and diversity. Samples were collected at five locations around Cuba. For S. partitus and H. flavolineatum, mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite loci were examined, whereas only mitochondrial DNA polymorphism was analyzed for A. tractus. All three species showed high genetic diversity. Mismatch distribution analyses suggest past population expansion in all species, but at different times in each species. Haplotype network and population genetic analyses suggest that: (1) S. partitus went through a recent population bottleneck in the late Pleistocene, (2) H. flavolineatum went through a population bottleneck but earlier, in  the mid-Pleistocene, and (3) A. tractus has had a large and stable population size with coalescence times that go back to the late Pliocene. Genetic polymorphism in H. flavolineatum and A. tractus is homogeneous throughout the archipelago, whereas there is significant genetic structure in S. partitus. Genetic differentiation among S. partitus populations is most likely the result of the combined effects of egg type and oceanic current patterns along the Cuban coast.


Genetic Differentiation Reef Fish Mismatch Distribution Larval Dispersal Coalescence Time 
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 would like to thank Oscar Valmaña and Luis Sánchez for essential support with field work, and Gaspar González Sansón and Consuelo Aguilar Betancourt for valuable discussions on the ecology of marine fish. We also acknowledge Roamsy Volta for assistance with figure production. We thank also the three reviewers and the editor for their valuable comments and suggestions. This study was partially financed by the Research Grant A4139-1 from the International Foundation for Science awarded to ARB and the Embassy of France in Cuba.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessy Castellanos-Gell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aymée Robainas-Barcia
    • 2
  • Fabián Pina-Amargós
    • 3
  • Pedro Chevalier-Monteagudo
    • 4
  • Cushla Metcalfe
    • 5
  • Wagner Franco Molina
    • 6
  • Didier Casane
    • 7
    • 8
  • Erik García-Machado
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones MarinasUniversidad de La HabanaPlayaCuba
  2. 2.Pierre Fabre IbericaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Centro de Investigaciones de Ecosistemas CosterosCayo Coco, MorónCuba
  4. 4.Acuario Nacional de CubaPlayaCuba
  5. 5.CSIROSt LuciaAustralia
  6. 6.Departamento de Biologia Celular e Genética, Centro de BiociênciasUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  7. 7.Evolution, Génomes, Comportement and Ecologie, CNRS, IRDUniv. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-SaclayGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  8. 8.Université Paris DiderotParisFrance

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