Event Title

Dynamic metapopulation structure of Pacific herring in Puget Sound

Presentation Abstract

Metapopulation structure in herring has been postulated for decades, yet the dynamics of extinction and recolonization and their effect of population genetic structure have not been directly observed. As a consequence, herring populations are often seen as spatially static (albeit demographically dynamic) entities for conservation and management purposes. Here, we present microsatellite data for Pacific herring population structure over 15 years (1999-2014) throughout the Southern Salish Sea. Genetic structure was primarily determined by spawn timing, but also by geographic isolation in the southern basin. Some populations experienced well described population declines, but there were also recent colonization events. Genetic analysis of a recently established spring spawning stock at the Seattle waterfront suggested Puget Sound winter spawners as the primary source of colonizers, similar to a recently discovered winter spawning stock in the southern basin. These results suggest that spawn timing and location may determine extant genetic structure, but that colonization events may originate from populations in a different location or spawning at a different time. These patterns correspond very well to the adopted migrant hypothesis, inferring learning behavior in herring natal homing. More broadly, our results suggest that the goal herring management should include not only the conservation of individual spawning populations and standing genetic and phenotypic diversity, but also the preservation and restoration of both utilized and unutilized spawning habitats to facilitate natural processes of extirpation colonization within a dynamic metapopulation. For this approach to work, it is important to understand key attributes of nearshore habitats that support herring spawning and to enact comprehensive protection measures that ensure persistence of appropriate locations on a biologically relevant geographic scale.

Session Title

Advances in the Understanding of Drivers of Change and Potential Conservation Actions for Pacific Herring in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

SSE11: Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE11-267

Start Date

6-4-2018 2:15 PM

End Date

6-4-2018 2:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 2:15 PM Apr 6th, 2:30 PM

Dynamic metapopulation structure of Pacific herring in Puget Sound

Metapopulation structure in herring has been postulated for decades, yet the dynamics of extinction and recolonization and their effect of population genetic structure have not been directly observed. As a consequence, herring populations are often seen as spatially static (albeit demographically dynamic) entities for conservation and management purposes. Here, we present microsatellite data for Pacific herring population structure over 15 years (1999-2014) throughout the Southern Salish Sea. Genetic structure was primarily determined by spawn timing, but also by geographic isolation in the southern basin. Some populations experienced well described population declines, but there were also recent colonization events. Genetic analysis of a recently established spring spawning stock at the Seattle waterfront suggested Puget Sound winter spawners as the primary source of colonizers, similar to a recently discovered winter spawning stock in the southern basin. These results suggest that spawn timing and location may determine extant genetic structure, but that colonization events may originate from populations in a different location or spawning at a different time. These patterns correspond very well to the adopted migrant hypothesis, inferring learning behavior in herring natal homing. More broadly, our results suggest that the goal herring management should include not only the conservation of individual spawning populations and standing genetic and phenotypic diversity, but also the preservation and restoration of both utilized and unutilized spawning habitats to facilitate natural processes of extirpation colonization within a dynamic metapopulation. For this approach to work, it is important to understand key attributes of nearshore habitats that support herring spawning and to enact comprehensive protection measures that ensure persistence of appropriate locations on a biologically relevant geographic scale.