Factors influencing within-watershed genetic variation of coastal cutthroat trout in Camp Creek, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1n79h791s

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  • Because human land use activities often result in increased fragmentation of headwater stream habitats, a better understanding of the effects of fragmentation on the genetic heterogeneity of stream salmonids is useful for effective management. We used eight microsatellites to examine the genetic structure of potamodromous coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki) in Camp Creek, an isolated headwater stream in western Oregon. Our objectives were to determine if coastal cutthroat trout were genetically structured at fine spatial scales and to assess the effects of natural and anthropogenic barriers on coastal cutthroat trout genetic variation. Fish sampling occurred at 10 locations, and allele frequencies differed significantly among all sampling sections. Dispersal barriers strongly influenced coastal cutthroat trout genetic structure and were associated with reduced genetic diversity and increased genetic differentiation. Results indicate that Camp Creek coastal cutthroat trout exist as many small, partially independent populations connected by low to moderate levels of gene flow. In headwater streams, increased habitat fragmentation can result in genetic and demographic isolation leading to reduced coastal cutthroat trout genetic diversity and compromising long-term population persistence.
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