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Population differentiation in perch Perca fluviatilis: environmental effects on gene flow?

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Environmental parameters were used to investigate barriers to gene flow and genetic differentiation in the Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) at a small geographical scale in an archipelago system. Significant genetic differentiation was found among locations. Distance per se did not play a major role in the reduction of gene flow. Instead, the largest genetic differences between populations correlated with major changes in environmental conditions, such as temperature at time of spawning. The results show that genetic divergence can arise between populations in habitats thought to be highly connected, and that environmental variables can influence the level of gene flow between populations, including those that are at small spatial scales (tens of kilometres). The importance of a landscape approach when investigating genetic differentiation and defining barriers to gene flow is highlighted.

Keywords: Perca fluviatilis L; barriers to gene flow; landscape genetics; microsatellite DNA; population differentiation

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Department of Animal Ecology, Evolutionary Biology Centre (EBC), Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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