Landscape-scale evaluation of genetic structure among barrier-isolated populations of coastal cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarki clarki Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2227ms51q

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  • Although the effects of extrinsic barriers to dispersal have increasingly been shown to play a large role in the structuring of contemporary genetic diversity, describing the relationship between landscape structure, stochastic disturbance, and genetic diversity remains a major challenge. Here, environmental features for 27 barrier-isolated populations (2,232 individuals) of coastal cutthroat trout from western Oregon are compared with data from seven microsatellite loci to examine how watershed-scale environmental factors shape genetic diversity. Isolated headwater populations of coastal cutthroat trout are strongly differentiated (mean Fst =0.33) but intrapopulation microsatellite genetic diversity (mean number of alleles per locus = 5, mean He = 0.60) was only moderate. Differences in genetic diversity of fish from the Coast Range (mean alleles = 47) and Cascade Mountains (mean alleles = 30) (P = 0.02) coincided with differences in regional landscape feature. Furthermore, scatter evident from isolation by distance plots within ecoregions indicated that population structure was primarily mediated by gene flow in the Coast Range, but in the Cascade Mountains, genetic drift the dominant factor influencing genetic patterns. Thus through comparisons between landscape structure and genetic diversity we demonstrate an example where physical landscape features play a substantial role in the structuring of genetic diversity.
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