Influence of historical and human factors on genetic structure and diversity patterns in peripheral populations: implications for the conservation of Moroccan trout

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Silvia PereaI. Doadrio

Abstract

The brown trout s.l. has been the focus of numerous phylogeographic and conservation studies due to its socioeconomic importance, its marked genetic and phenotypic differentiation and its broad distribution range. Especially interesting evolutionary patterns are observed for populations occupying peripheral areas of a distribution range, such as in the case of the highly isolated trout populations in Morocco. Continuous stocking programs may conceal natural genetic patterns, making it challenging to discern evolutionary patterns. In Morocco, trout stocking programs have been implemented to increase the genetic diversity of native populations by pooling fish of different origins in the Ras el Ma hatchery (Azrou region) and then stocking them in the different basins. In this study, phylogenetic and phylogeographic patterns, as well as genetic structure and diversity, of Moroccan trout populations were analyzed to evaluate the impact of continuous fish stocking on evolutionary processes in order to better distinguish between natural and human-mediated patterns. Two mitochondrial and nine microsatellite markers were analyzed for all populations along the entire distribution range of brown trout in Morocco. Phylogenetic and phylogeo...Continue Reading

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