Failure to consider genetic structure in fish populations when collecting aquaculture broodstock can negatively affect fitness, and hence conservation and management goals. Here we used mitochondrial DNA from the 5’ end of the control region (D-loop) and four microsatellite markers to evaluate population genetic structure in the Mangrove Jack Lutjanus argentimaculatus with a view to guiding broodstock collection at the southern extremity of its east Australian range.

There was no evidence of genetic structure within the entire tropical, subtropical and temperate east Australian distribution of L. argentimaculatus. Although this species may exhibit clinal morphological and life-history variation at its southern range limit, we did not detect wide- or fine-scale spatial genetic structure to indicate the presence of non-random evolutionary processes. Broodstock collection of L. argentimaculatus need not be geographically restricted in eastern Australia, but fisheries management should consider variation in life history and recruitment success at the species’ edge.

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