Feb 7, 2015

Genetic diversity is related to climatic variation and vulnerability in threatened bull trout

Global Change Biology
Ryan P KovachG Luikart

Abstract

Understanding how climatic variation influences ecological and evolutionary processes is crucial for informed conservation decision-making. Nevertheless, few studies have measured how climatic variation influences genetic diversity within populations or how genetic diversity is distributed across space relative to future climatic stress. Here, we tested whether patterns of genetic diversity (allelic richness) were related to climatic variation and habitat features in 130 bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) populations from 24 watersheds (i.e., ~4-7th order river subbasins) across the Columbia River Basin, USA. We then determined whether bull trout genetic diversity was related to climate vulnerability at the watershed scale, which we quantified on the basis of exposure to future climatic conditions (projected scenarios for the 2040s) and existing habitat complexity. We found a strong gradient in genetic diversity in bull trout populations across the Columbia River Basin, where populations located in the most upstream headwater areas had the greatest genetic diversity. After accounting for spatial patterns with linear mixed models, allelic richness in bull trout populations was positively related to habitat patch size and comple...Continue Reading

  • References34
  • Citations5

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Buffaloes
Decision Making
Depressed - Symptom
Salvelinus confluentus
Anatomical Space Structure
Columbia
Species
Alleles
5' Region

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