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The effects of high rearing density on the potential for domestication selection in hatchery culture of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Public Deposited

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  • Hatchery-reared steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) often have lower fitness than natural-origin fish when spawning in the wild. Fitness loss in hatcheries is partly due to genetic adaptation to captivity (domestication), but the underlying selection pressures driving adaptation remain unknown. Circumstantial evidence suggests that adaptation to hatcheries is accelerated when fish are reared at high density. We hypothesized two mechanisms by which high rearing densities could accelerate adaptation to the hatchery. First, high density could increase the among-family component of variation in fork length, which could increase the opportunity for selection after release. Second, a growth trade-off in fork length among families could occur across densities (family-by-environment interaction). We raised the same set of families, in replicate, at each of two densities. We found main effects of density (high density reduced body size) and family (accounted for 33%–53% of variance in size at release) on juvenile fork length. However, high density did not increase the percentage of variance in fork length among families, and there was weak evidence for a family-by-environment interaction. We propose an alternate model of how increased density might exacerbate domestication selection. The relationship between size at release and probability of survival is strongly nonlinear (almost truncational) for steelhead. Because high density decreases the fork lengths of all families approximately equally, high density could simply reduce the number of families that are above a threshold for high survival, resulting in strong among-family selection after release from the hatchery.
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  • Thompson, N. F., & Blouin, M. S. (2015). The effects of high rearing density on the potential for domestication selection in hatchery culture of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 72(12), 1829-1834. doi:10.1139/cjfas-2015-0233
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  • 72
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  • 12
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  • Funding was provided by the Bonneville Power Administration and the Oregon chapter ofthe American Fisheries Society. All procedures were approved by Oregon State University IACUC (ACUP No. 4346).
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