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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 827, Issue 1, pp 277–291 | Cite as

Identification of an endemic Mediterranean brown trout mtDNA group within a highly perturbed aquatic system, the Llobregat River (NE Spain)

  • M. VeraEmail author
  • C. Bouza
  • A. Casanova
  • S. Heras
  • P. Martínez
  • J. L. García-Marín
Primary Research Paper

Abstract

Brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) is an important resource both for conservation and recreational fisheries in Iberian Peninsula, but the species is threatened in Llobregat River, an important river drainage in Catalonia (NE Spain), due to the high anthropological influence. In order to ascertain the native genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationships, population structure and stocking impact in this drainage, 295 individuals collected from eight different locations distributed throughout the main river course and the main tributary (i.e. Llobregat River and Cardener River, respectively) were analysed for the period 1990–2017. The complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and the LDH-C* diagnostic locus for monitoring the stocking were analysed. Moderate-high levels of genetic introgression were detected (frequency ~ 0.300), affecting especially the main course. Despite the stocking introgression and the expected genetic depletion by genetic drift due to population isolation, a new mtDNA haplotype group pertaining to the Mediterranean lineage was found restricted to the Cardener River. This haplogroup is responsible of the high population differentiation observed between rivers in the Llobregat drainage (ΦCT = 0.456, P < 0.001) and highlights the conservation interest of that region. Management strategies to achieve fisheries sustainability and conserve endemic resources in the region are proposed.

Keywords

Mediterranean brown trout Phylogeography Iberian Peninsula Stocking impact Conservation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Authors wish to thank M. López, S. Sánchez-Darriba and S. Gómez for their laboratory support; E. Aparicio for his fieldwork; and J. Ruiz, C. Marchante and J. Capdevila from the Inland Fisheries Service of the Generalitat de Catalunya Autonomous Government (Spain) for their technical advice. Authors are also indebted with Prof. M. Power and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on the earlier version of this manuscript. A. Casanova was funded by a predoctoral reasearch fellowship from Xunta de Galicia Autonomous Government (Spain). This study has been supported by Spanish Science and Technology Ministry projects (REN2000-0740-C02-01; REN2003-05931/GLO), University of Girona project (MPCUdG2016/060), Generalitat de Catalunya (Spain) contracts (AMB/acs/itt 2001-3; AG-2017-617) and Xunta de Galicia project (GRC2014/010).

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Zoología, Genética y Antropología Física, Faculty of VeterinaryUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaLugoSpain
  2. 2.Laboratori d’Ictiologia Genètica, Departamento de Biología, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of GironaGironaSpain

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