Genetic Structure, Status, and Mixed Stock Analysis of
Atlantic Sturgeon in the Southeastern U.S.
January 25, 1999
National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Region, 9721
Executive Center Drive, North, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.
PHONE: (813) 570-5324
have a broad distribution along the east coast of North
America. When 332 specimens from 11 river systems were
genetically analyzed a pronounced latitudinal cline in
the number of composite mtDNA haplotypes was discovered.
Haplotypic diversity increased from north (St. Lawrence
River, New Brunswick) to south (Satilla River, Georgia)
and from previously glaciated and subsequently recolonized
systems to the portion of their range which was never
glaciated. The greater genetic diversity shown by southern
populations is most likely a continuity of these populations
through the Pleistocene and as a result of their higher
mutation rates associated with their shorter generation
times. This study found stock structure among the southern
populations and evidence of at least seven genetic stocks.
The researchers conclude that management efforts to augment
natural reproduction with hatchery production should use
broodstock from the rivers in which the offspring are
to be stocked.