Disparate past demographic histories of three small Scombridae (Actinopterygii) species in Tunisian waters
The bullet tuna Auxis rochei, the little tunny Euthynnus alletteratus, and the Atlantic Chub mackerel Scomber colias are three small Scombridae with similar life-history traits such as overlapping epipelagic distribution and a shared spawning area in Tunisian waters. In this study, we compared the phylogeography and demographic histories of these species by analyzing the sequence variability of the mitochondrial DNA control region. None of the species showed genetic differentiation in their Tunisian distribution; however, we inferred three completely different population histories. E. alletteratus showed a demographic history of a very recent bottleneck followed by sudden population expansion probably consequence of a population decline in the Last Glacial Maximum. S. colias also presented a population expansion after collapse but in this case about ten-fold older than that observed in E. alletteratus. Finally, A. rochei presented a history of demographic stability. These contrasting population histories were discussed based on their possible differences in life-history traits, but the hypothesis of stochastic factors affecting the demography of these species was also invoked.
KeywordsSmall scombridae Bayesian skyline plots Contrasting demographic histories Mismatch distributions
We thank Hajjej Ghailen for providing some Euthynnus alletteratus samples. We also are indebted to fishermen from localities where we took samples. We also thank Dr. Carles Pla and Dr. Oriol Vidal who help us in the laboratory process and data analysis.
Conflict of interest
All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Compliance with ethics requirements
All work met the requirements stated by the Spanish (RD53/2013) and Catalonian (D214/1997) laws of animal care and experimentation.
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