Hatchery introgression blurs ancient hybridization between brown trout (Salmo trutta)
By N. Sanz, M. Cortey, C. Pla, J.L. Garcia-Marin
Biological Conservation, Volume 130, Issue 2, June 2006, Pages 278-289, ISSN 0006-3207, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2005.12.023.
Populations living on the periphery of a species range are subjected to intense habitat pressures that stress their vulnerability to threats. South Iberian brown trout (Salmo trutta) populations are located on the southwestern boundary of the species range in Europe. This region has been described as a contact zone between Atlantic and Mediterranean populations in other fish species, and allozyme data detected natural hybridization between native Atlantic and Mediterranean brown trout in this area. Nevertheless, native pattern of populations relationships are threatened by hybridization with exogenous hatchery fish. Allozyme data and complete mtDNA control region sequences were used to analyse the ongoing processes of human mediated hybridization between native and hatchery brown trout in this region. Estimates of the persistence of hatchery genes detected a high level of introgression in some of the sampled locations (hatchery ancestry more than 25% in GF-1, GF-2 and GF-3), but results differed from both kinds of markers. The low intrapopulation diversity (Hs = 0.051) indicated that genetic drift could explain discrepancies between markers. At individual level, the complementary use of both markers detected more hatchery origin fish than those detected by the use of a single technique. Based on these results, the importance of considering a large number of genetic markers to evaluate introgression accurately is emphasized. The ability of the current management policies to the protection and conservation of marginal populations that retain complex and special evolutionary histories such as those studied is also questioned.
Keywords: Allozyme; Brown trout; Hybridization; Introgression; mtDNA