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Population and Landscape Genetics of Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) Open Access


Other title
landscape genetics
Arctic Grayling
population structure
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Reilly, Jessica R
Supervisor and department
Coltman, David (Biological Sciences)
Paszkowski, Cynthia (Biological Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Paszkowski, Cynthia (Biological Sciences)
Mark, Poesch (Renewable Resources)
Sullivan, Michael (Biological Sciences)
Coltman, David (Biological Sciences)
Department of Biological Sciences
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
I investigated the population and landscape genetics of Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) distributed throughout several connected river systems in Alberta, Canada. Broad- and fine-scale population structure was examined by genotyping nine microsatellite loci in 1,116 Arctic Grayling captured from 40 sites in the Hay River, Peace River, and Athabasca River basins. Genetic diversity tended to decline from north to south (allele richness-latitude: Spearman’s rank correlation rs = 0.793, P < 0.05), with the lowest level detected in a stocked population. Significant genetic divergence between and within major river basins was found (overall FST (θ) = 0.13) as well as strong isolation by distance patterns in the Peace River basin (Mantel r = 0.97, P < 0.001) and Athabasca River basin (Mantel r = 0.95, P < 0.001). Evidence for gene flow among sites in neighbouring rivers (i.e., 25–100 km apart) was common; significant genetic differentiation tended to occur at the sub-basin level. Allelic richness (Ar) was associated with variables describing post-glacial colonization route, spatial position in the stream network, and density of anthropogenic disturbance. These findings have important implications for species management and conservation, particularly in regards to management unit delineation, supplementation procedures, conservation priorities (i.e., protecting small and/or isolated stocks), and land-use planning.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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