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Genetic diversity over multiple generations of supplementation: an example from Chinook salmon using microsatellite and demographic data

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Abstract

We examined demographic data and microsatellite loci in a supplemented population of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) seeking evidence of changes in genetic diversity or for reduction of the effective size (N e ) arising from supplementation (i.e., the Ryman-Laikre effect). A supplementation program in the North Fork Stillaguamish River (Washington State, USA) was intended to increase abundance (N) and maintain genetic diversity in the depressed population. Since supplementation expanded in 1986, about 9% of the population has been randomly collected for broodstock. The resulting progeny are released into the wild and comprised 10–60% of all returning adults. Genotypic data were obtained at 14 microsatellite loci from adult samples collected in four years between 1985 and 2001; these data indicated that the allelic richness and expected heterozygosity did not significantly change during this period and that genetic diversity in the captive and wild progeny was similar. The inbreeding and variance N e estimated from adult escapement between 1974 and 2004 were different for the same generation, but the ratios of effective size to census size were very similar and decreased following supplementation. The variance N e by the temporal method increased over time, but it is difficult to draw conclusions because of necessary assumptions made during the calculations. Based on these results we conclude that: (1) genetic diversity has been maintained over multiple generations of supplementation; (2) supplementation has not contributed to a loss of genetic diversity; and (3) monitoring genetic effects of supplementation is not straightforward, but it can be useful to look at both demographic and genetic data simultaneously.

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Acknowledgments

This work was funded by a Hatchery Reform Grant from the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission to the Stillaguamish Tribe. We are grateful to the WDFW for providing the 1987, and 1996 tissue samples, generating the microsatellite genotypes, and providing information on the SF Chinook. Numerous people associated with the Stillaguamish Tribe graciously assisted with sample collection. Jon Drotts and Kit Rawson provided the NF Chinook abundance data. We are indebted to Fred Utter, Robin Waples, Ken Currens and a number of anonymous reviewers for providing invaluable editorial suggestions and methodological help along the way.

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Correspondence to William H. Eldridge.

 

 

Appendix Genetic diversity of adult NF Chinook salmon grouped by origin (C = Captive progeny W = Wild progeny) and by spawning location (B = Broodstock, S = wild Spawning grounds)

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Eldridge, W.H., Killebrew, K. Genetic diversity over multiple generations of supplementation: an example from Chinook salmon using microsatellite and demographic data. Conserv Genet 9, 13–28 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-007-9298-y

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