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Biological Sciences


Translocation has been used to conserve imperiled fishes and create new fisheries. One species for which translocation has played a significant role is the Sacramento Perch Archoplites interruptus. Extirpated from its native range, the Sacramento Perch has been introduced throughout California and Nevada through multiple translocation events, though historical records are incomplete. Recent assessments of eight previously uncharacterized Sacramento Perch populations have prompted reevaluation of range-wide population structure to inform a genetic management plan for long-term resiliency of this species. We examined Sacramento Perch genetic diversity and population structure across the current range of the species using 12 microsatellite markers. We analyzed samples from the eight uncharacterized populations and seven populations previously studied by Schwartz and May (2008). Bayesian clustering supported two distinct clusters of Sacramento Perch herein designated as A and B. Within these two clusters we detected hierarchical substructure, likely due to genetic drift after population founding. Genetic differentiation among populations within the same cluster was relatively low (FST = 0.023–0.176), while differentiation among populations from different clusters was higher (FST = 0.190–0.320). The existence of two strongly divergent genetic clusters in Sacramento Perch suggests two distinct translocation sources, and we recommend that these clusters be treated as genetic management units (GMUs). The B GMU populations had fairly low levels of genetic diversity relative to the A GMU populations. All populations showed evidence of past bottlenecks, and most had effective population sizes placing them at risk for inbreeding depression. Human-facilitated gene flow is recommended to prevent further genetic diversity loss. Due to uncertainty surrounding Sacramento Perch translocation history and strong levels of divergence between the two GMUs, translocations should be facilitated only between populations within the same GMU.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.