Molecular tools reveal hierarchical structure and patterns of migration and gene flow in bull trout (Salvelinus Confluentus) populations of south-western Alberta

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Warnock, Will G
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2008
Bull trout are a species of fish native to the coldwater mountain streams of Alberta. Because this species is of special conservation concern and displays finely dissected population structure, it is well suited as a model species to test the utility of versatile conservation genetics tools. One such tool, a genetic clustering method, was used to discern the hierarchical population structure of bull trout in the core of their range in South-West Alberta. The method also revealed patterns of gene flow by way of assignment tests. Populations defined by this method were then used as reference populations for mixed-migrant assignment tests, revealing that clustering method-defined populations may be more suitable for such tests rather than traditional approaches that define reference populations by sampling location. Combined with spatial data a posteriori, assignment tests had additional utility of discerning spatial scale of movement for juvenile and adult salmonids. This technique provided further evidence that assignment tests may be powerful indirect tools for evaluating migration, and that longrange inter-stream dispersal in juvenile salmonid fish may be more common than previously assumed.
xi, 174 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm. --
Dissertations, Academic , Bull trout -- Alberta, Southwestern -- Research , Bull trout -- Genetics