The atherinid fish Craterocephalus capreoli Rendahl is abundant in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, 70 km off the Western Australia coast and ≃250 km south of the southern limit of the range of the species along the mainland. Electrophoretic examination of 7 allozyme loci at 17 sites in the Houtman Abrolhos revealed a substantially lower level of polymorphism than found in an earlier study of the species in its mainland distribution, with many of the uncommon alleles and some common ones missing. There is a very high degree of genetic subdivision among the populations in the Houtman Abrolhos, measured by a mean F ST of 0.437 over a distance of 35 km. This F ST (standardized variance in allelic frequencies) is six times that found previously among populations along the mainland coast over distances up to 850 km. The subdivision of populations in the Houtman Abrolhos is similar within one island group on a scale up to 12 km, and between two groups that are separated by 15 km of deep water. Significant differences in allelic frequencies were found between populations from the open shore and enclosed lagoons less than 800 m apart, but the overall levels of subdivision were similar for the two types of environment. Previous work had shown high levels of genetic subdivision in the Houtman Abrolhos for a gastropod with direct development. The results for C. capreoli demonstrate that the archipelago favours subdivision even for a species with potentially much greater mobility and different life history.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Marine Biology: international journal on life in oceans and coastal waters|
|Publication status||Published - May 1994|