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Spatiotemporal analysis shows stable genetic differentiation and barriers to dispersal in the Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis L.)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Animal Ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Limnology.
2009 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology Research, ISSN 1522-0613, Vol. 11, no 5, 827-840 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Recently, unexpected or cryptic barriers to gene flow causing genetic discontinuities have been found in a number of animal taxa, even in apparently highly connected areas such as aquatic environments. 

Goal: Investigate the temporal stability of previously documented microgeographic genetic structure in a fish.

Organism: Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis L.)

Method: We sampled four locations over a period of 2 years. We used six microsatellites to investigate population differentiation. We compared within-year to between-year differentiation.

Results: The significant genetic differentiation found between locations in 2004 was still present in 2006. The strongest barriers to gene flow in the lake were consistent over both sampling periods. Furthermore, temporal differentiation existed within each site between the years. Populations of perch appear to cluster in different patches in the lake that harbour genetically differentiated groups of fish. Hence, limited migration and barriers to dispersal can persist over time, even at a very small geographical scale and in an open aquatic environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tucson: Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. , 2009. Vol. 11, no 5, 827-840 p.
Keyword [en]
Barriers to gene flow, Microsatellites, Perca fluviatilis L, Small-scale genetic divergence, Spatiotemporal stability
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107228ISI: 000269674500009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107228DiVA: diva2:228367
Available from: 2009-07-30 Created: 2009-07-30 Last updated: 2010-07-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Population divergence at small spatial scales: – theoretical and empirical investigations in perch
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Population divergence at small spatial scales: – theoretical and empirical investigations in perch
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Genetically structured populations arise when gene flow between groups of individuals is hindered by geographical, behavioural or temporal barriers. The identification of such groups is important for understanding evolution and has large implications for conservation concern. The field of population subdivision has received a lot of interest throughout the years and gained empirical support from a number of species. However, very little is known about population structure at small spatial scales, especially in a highly mobile species such as fish. The main object for my thesis was to further investigate population differentiation, explicitly at small spatial scales in the Eurasian perch. My results show that in this species, genetic differentiation occurs, even at very small spatial scales, both within lakes and in the Baltic Sea. Additionally, the differentiation can be stable over years and thus have a large impact in the evolution of adaptation to different environments. I also found barriers to gene flow that overlapped with the largest change in spring temperature, suggesting a temporal difference in spawning. Morphological differences were found at these small scales as well which indicates that a difference in food resources might be an underlying cause of change. My thesis work shows that the aquatic environment might not be as homogenous as widely thought and that there could be barriers or adaptations to different environments that hinder the fish from genetic panmixia. Slight patterns of isolation by distance (IBD) were found in the Baltic Sea, implying that the distance (i.e. currents) effect the level of differentiation via drifting of larvae and/or small fish. However, I have also theoretically investigated the IBD model of and seen that it is no longer correct when differences in population sizes are introduced. The pattern of IBD can mean high levels of gene flow or no gene flow at all, solely dependent on population size differences and fluctuations. My thesis has resulted in new and important findings regarding the existence and cause of genetic differentiation at very small spatial scales and thus added new knowledge into the field of evolution and speciation. In addition, my results also give insights into the contemporary state of the Eurasian perch and future evolutionary potential.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2009. 33 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 659
Perca fluviatilis L., Perch, Small scale genetic differentiation, Morphometrics, Isolation by distance, Dispersal, Gene flow, Microsatellites, Spatiotemporal stability, Barriers
National Category
Biological Sciences Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107223 (URN)978-91-554-7573-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-09-18, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2009-08-28 Created: 2009-07-29 Last updated: 2009-09-04Bibliographically approved

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