, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 249-264

Effective population size and temporal genetic change in stream resident brown trout (Salmo trutta, L.)

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Abstract

Temporal genetic data may be used forestimating effective population size (N e) and for addressing the `temporal stability' of population structure, two issues of central importance for conservation and management. In this paper we assess the amount of spatio-temporal genetic variation at 17 di-allelic allozyme loci and estimate current N e in two populations of stream resident brown trout (Salmo trutta) using data collected over 20 years. The amount ofpopulation divergence was found to bereasonably stable over the studied time period.There was significant temporal heterogeneitywithin both populations, however, and N e was estimated as 19 and 48 for the twopopulations. Empirical estimates of theprobability of detecting statisticallysignificant allele frequency differencesbetween samples from the same populationseparated by different numbers of years wereobtained. This probability was found to befairly small when comparing samples collectedonly a few years apart, even for theseparticular populations that exhibit quiterestricted effective sizes. We discuss someimplications of the present results for browntrout population genetics and conservation, andfor the analysis of temporal genetic change inpopulations with overlapping generations ingeneral.