Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp 323–334

Genetic signatures of historical bottlenecks in sympatric lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) morphotypes in Lake Superior

  • Bruno Guinand
  • Kevin S. Page
  • Mary K. Burnham-Curtis
  • Kim T. Scribner

DOI: 10.1007/s10641-012-0005-6

Cite this article as:
Guinand, B., Page, K.S., Burnham-Curtis, M.K. et al. Environ Biol Fish (2012) 95: 323. doi:10.1007/s10641-012-0005-6


Humans have played a significant role in reducing levels of genetic diversity and differentiation of many teleost fishes, leading to homogenization across biological entities. We compare patterns of historical and contemporary genetic structure for three sympatric Great Lake’s lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) morphs (lean, siscowet, and humper) that differ in patterns of habitat occupancy, susceptibility to overfishing and predation by invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). Differential susceptibilities to overfishing and predation were expected to result in different impacts to levels of genetic diversity loss for each morphotype. Genetic data was collected for samples at three points in time: 1948 (pre-collapse), 1959 (collapse) and 1990s (current), corresponding to periods of intensive fishing, mortality due to lamprey and recovery, respectively. The lean morph preferentially targeted by the fishery and recognized as highly preyed upon by sea lamprey was more highly impacted genetically than other morphs, as evidenced by greater loss of genetic diversity first during the period of overfishing, then during the period of high sea lamprey abundance once the fishery collapsed. The siscowet morph also experienced genetic bottlenecks during the period of overfishing (pre-collapse period). Results indicate significant levels of genetic differentiation among morphs historically prior to declines in abundance and also among contemporary populations, suggesting that periods of population decline and resurgence in abundance and distribution did not result in loss of genetic distinctiveness among morphs.


Lake troutSympatric morphotypesLake SuperiorFishing-induced mortalityPredationGenetic homogenization

Supplementary material

10641_2012_5_MOESM1_ESM.doc (110 kb)
ESM 1(doc 109 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Guinand
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kevin S. Page
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mary K. Burnham-Curtis
    • 5
  • Kim T. Scribner
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and WildlifeMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.UMR-CNRS 5554 Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier, Département de Biologie Intégrative, Université Montpellier 2, CC63Montpellier Cedex 05France
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  4. 4.Inland Fisheries Research Unit, Ohio Department of Natural ResourcesHebronUSA
  5. 5.National Forensics Laboratory, U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceAshlandUSA