Local recruitment of Atlantic cod and putative source spawning areas in a coastal seascape
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionICES Journal of Marine Science. 2021, 78 (10), 3767-3779. 10.1093/icesjms/fsab226
Increased knowledge on connectivity is crucial to our understanding of the population dynamics, genetic structure, and biogeography of many coastal species. In coastal marine populations, the main factor for structuring is thought to be the degree of isolation and confinement, limiting genetic exchange between populations. However, many offshore populations use the coastal areas as nursery grounds, but venture back to natal spawning grounds as adults. Therefore, increased knowledge on the connectivity between coastal and offshore populations is crucial to ensure correct assessment of coastal living resources. Here, we combine genetic assignment data of Atlantic cod recruits sampled in 2017 and 2018 (as 0- and 1-group cod, respectively) in outer Oslofjord (eastern Skagerrak) with a biophysical model for the Skagerrak region over the time period from spawning to settlement in 2017. We located the most probable spawning locations of Atlantic cod recruits by “back-tracking” larval drift trajectories and found putative source areas on both sides of the outer Oslofjord, as well as potential upstream sources in the North Sea and Kattegat. Findings are discussed with regards to suitable management strategies and potential for restoration of coastal cod populations.