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Canals as ecological corridors and hybridization zones for two cyprinid species

Abstract

Predicted increases in the human population, in a context of climatic change and limiting freshwater resources, have raised awareness of the need to preserve aquatic ecosystems, their functions, and the biodiversity they harbor. The ecological reconciliation approach proposes the long-term co-existence of biodiversity preservation and the development of human activities. We investigated the ecological and evolutionary contributions of irrigation and hydroelectric canals in the highly fragmented and regulated Durance River (Rhône basin, Southern France), to the genetic diversity patterns of two interbreeding cyprinid species, the native Parachondrostoma toxostoma, and the introduced Chondrostoma nasus species. We observed a high degree of genetic homogeneity along the length of the river. The maintenance of gene flow despite the presence of dams, and the detection of admixed populations and hybridization events in canals suggest that these canals may act as ecological corridors and hybrid zones with the potential to influence genetic resources for the native and introduced species. These anthropogenic structures vary considerably in terms of their spatial organization, size, and overall management, increasing habitat diversity in the urbanized section of river. Together with the restoration of natural habitats, canals can be considered as important structures for biodiversity dynamic in such urban conditions.

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Acknowledgements

We are very grateful to the following persons who supported this study: Jeanne Lambert (DDARD) for help concerning the Alpilles septentrionales canal; Claire Boyer & Sandrine Pignard for ASA of Carpentras canal; Frédérick Jacob & Norbert Schaltenbrand from Electricité de France, Chantal Aspe & Marie Jaque (IRD, LPED UMR D 151, Aix-Marseille Université) for their help concerning the Pertuis Cadenet canal; Christophe Garrone from Maison Régionale de l’Eau, Vincent Duru (Fédération Départementale de Pêche des Alpes de Haute Provence) for help concerning the EDF canal; Rémi Grenier & Vincent Dubut (IMBE) for their participation to molecular data acquirement. We also thank Agnès Barillier, Julie Mosseri, and Frédérick Jacob (EDF) for their suggestions and comments that improved the manuscript quality.

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Correspondence to Emmanuel Guivier.

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10750_2018_3843_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

Supplementary Figure S1. Genetic diversity of A) P. toxostoma and B) C. nasus populations in sampled sites in 2013. The figures presents 1) observed heterozygosity (H0, blue dots) and averaged number of private alleles (PA, black triangle) and 2) the haplotype richness (nrH, black32triangle), gene diversity estimators (H, blue dot; θπ, red dots) in sampled sites in 2013. Error bars represents +/- standard error estimated for each value. The labels of sites corresponding to canals are highlighted in red (PDF 134 kb)

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Guivier, E., Gilles, A., Pech, N. et al. Canals as ecological corridors and hybridization zones for two cyprinid species. Hydrobiologia 830, 1–16 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-018-3843-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-018-3843-1

Keywords

  • Genetic diversity
  • Anthropogenic structures
  • Ecological reconciliation
  • Cyprinid species