Estimating the long-term effects of stocking domesticated trout into wild brown trout (Salmo trutta) populations: an approach using microsatellite DNA analysis of historical and contemporary samples.
- PubMed: 12030979
Indigenous salmonid fish gene pools are affected by domesticated conspecifics, derived from aquaculture escapes and deliberate releases. Variability was examined at nine microsatellite loci in order to assess the long-term impact of stocking domesticated trout in two brown trout populations. The study was based on analysis of two historical samples (1945-56), represented by old scale collections, and seven contemporary samples (1986-2000). In one population historical and contemporary samples were remarkably genetically similar despite more than a decade of intense stocking. Estimation of admixture proportions showed a small genetic contribution from domesticated trout (approximately 6%), and individual admixture analysis demonstrated a majority of nonadmixed individuals. The expected genetic contribution by domesticated trout was 64%, assessed from the number of stocked trout and assuming equal survival and reproductive performance of wild and domesticated trout. This demonstrates poor performance and low fitness of domesticated trout in the wild. In another population there was a strong genetic contribution from domesticated trout (between 57% and 88% in different samples), both in samples from a broodstock thought to represent the indigenous population and in a sample of wild spawners. Survival of domesticated trout and admixture with indigenous fish in the broodstock and subsequent stocking into the river, combined with a low population size of native trout relative to the number of stocked trout, could explain the observed introgression. Few nonadmixed individuals remained in the introgressed population, and I discuss how individual admixture analysis can be used to identify and conserve nonintrogressed remains of the population.