, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 329-339

Introgressive hybridization between Galaxias depressiceps and Galaxias sp D (Teleostei: Galaxiidae) in Otago, New Zealand: Secondary contact mediated by water races

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Abstract

Central Otago (New Zealand) was the focus of an intense period ofgold mining in the late 19th century. Mining relied on high waterpressure for sluicing, often requiring extensive systems of water raceslinking headwaters over large distances. On Rough Ridge, races connectedheadwaters of Otago's two major river systems, the Taieri and theClutha. We employed genetic analysis of freshwater fish(Galaxias) populations to assess the biological implications ofrace-development. The two galaxiid taxa found on Rough Ridge (G. spD and G. depressiceps) are reciprocally monophyletic formtDNA and have three fixed allozyme differences. Rough Ridge aside,G. sp D is apparently absent from the Taieri system and G.depressiceps from the Clutha system. Distributions of mitochondrialDNA, allozyme and microsatellite alleles imply that artificialconnections have facilitated bidirectional introgression: movementof G. sp D alleles into the Taieri system and G.depressiceps alleles into the Clutha. The finding of some identicalcontrol region haplotypes (of both lineages) on either side of thecatchment boundary confirms the recency of genetic exchange. Near theinferred region of contact, samples from Linn Burn (Taieri) are pureG. depressiceps for three diagnostic allozymes and mtDNA.Samples from upper Pool Burn (Clutha) are pure G. sp D forthese same four markers. However, other collections from around thecontact zone represent genetic mixtures forming a cline. We fear thatsimilar human-induced mixing may have happened elsewhere in uplandOtago.