Archived DNA reveals fisheries and climate induced collapse of a major fishery

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Fishing and climate change impact the demography of marine fishes, but it is generally ignored that many species are made up of genetically distinct locally adapted populations that may show idiosyncratic responses to environmental and anthropogenic pressures. Here, we track 80 years of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) population dynamics in West Greenland using DNA from archived otoliths in combination with fish population and niche based modeling. We document how the interacting effects of climate change and high fishing pressure lead to dramatic spatiotemporal changes in the proportions and abundance of different genetic populations, and eventually drove the cod fishery to a collapse in the early 1970s. Our results highlight the relevance of fisheries management at the level of genetic populations under future scenarios of climate change
Original languageEnglish
Article number15395
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
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