Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A tale of two seas: Last Ice Age has shaped sharks across Europe

13.11.2014

Shark populations in the Mediterranean are highly divided, an international team of scientists, led by Dr Andrew Griffiths of the University of Bristol, has shown.

Many previous studies on sharks suggest they move over large distances. But catsharks in the Mediterranean Sea appear to move and migrate much less, as revealed by this study. This could have important implications for conserving and managing sharks more widely, suggesting they may be more vulnerable to over-fishing than previously thought.


This depicts a catshark resting in the daytime.

Credit: David Sims


This is a catshark in the mirror.

Credit: David Sims

The study, published in the new journal Royal Society Open Science, used genetic techniques to investigate the population structure of the small-spotted shark, Scyliorhinus canicula. The species is common throughout Europe and has been eaten since ancient times, as documented in Roman mosaics.

In the UK anglers catch it for sport and it can often be seen in rock pools at low tide. The study found evidence of isolated populations in the Mediterranean, but no population division was found between catsharks around the North East Atlantic and British Isles.

During the last ice age, about 20,000 years ago, ice sheets occupied much of the Seas and Ocean of this region and catsharks probably didn't survive in the area. This means the region had to be recolonised, and there are very little genetic differences between them today.

The study also highlights differences in the movements of males and female catsharks - an increasingly common finding in sharks.

Dr Griffiths, based in the School of Biological Sciences, said: "It makes a lot of sense, females may want to stay in areas that are good for laying eggs, but males are often the dispersing sex, perhaps taking risks to increase how much they reproduce."

This research has conservation implications; if patterns of population structure vary hugely in different seas, and between the sexes, then shark resilience to fishing can vary greatly, meaning that better informed management could be needed for many species.

Paper

'A tale of two seas: contrasting patterns of population structure in the small-spotted catshark across Europe' by Gubili C et al in Royal Society Open Science.

Hannah Johnson | EurekAlert!

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>