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Intralacustrine site fidelity and nonrandom mating in the littoral-spawning northern redbelly dace (Phoxinus eos)

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Natal site fidelity of the northern redbelly dace (Phoxinus eos), a common minnow in North America, was confirmed by combining ecological and genetic approaches. A 2-year mark–recapture experiment conducted at four sites separated by 50–450m strongly supported the propensity of the dace to practice site fidelity during the reproductive period. Individuals recaptured at their marking sites were characterized with five microsatellite loci. Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium and allelic differentiation tests revealed that the fish from different sites significantly differed from a single panmictic and genetically uniform population, thus confirming the homing behaviour of the dace. The detection of a pattern of isolation by distance revealed that migration mostly occurred between nearby sites and decreased as distance from birth site increased. When considering the high population density of dace, their high swimming capability, the distribution of the spawning sites along the littoral zone, and the small size of the lake studied (<5ha), these results strongly suggest natal site fidelity in this species. The detection of this phenomenon for this species is extremely useful for empirical investigations of factors affecting patterns of isolation by distance and of evolutionary perspectives of natal site fidelity in fishes.

Un comportement de fidélité au site de naissance du ventre rouge du nord (Phoxinus eos), un cyprin commun d’Amérique du Nord, a été confirmé par la combinaison d’approches écologique et génétique. Une expérience de marquage et recaptures répétées pendant 2 années sur quatre sites distants de 50 à 450m supporte fortement la propension du cyprin au comportement de fidélité au site en période de reproduction. Les individus recapturés à leur site de marquage ont ensuite été caractérisés avec cinq microsatellites. Les tests d’équilibre de Hardy–Weinberg et de différenciation allélique révèlent que les poissons des différents sites diffèrent significativement d’une population panmictique et génétiquement uniforme, ce qui confirme le comportement de fidélité au site de naissance du cyprin. La détection d’un patron d’isolement par la distance révèle que les échanges de migrants sont plus importants entre des sites rapprochés et diminue avec une augmentation de la distance entre les sites de naissance et de ponte. En considérant la forte densité de cette population de cyprins, leur importante capacité natatoire, la distribution des sites de ponte le long de la zone littorale et la petite taille du lac étudié(<5ha), ces résultats indiquent fortement l’existence d’un comportement de fidélité au site de naissance chez cette espèce. La détection de ce phénomène chez cette espèce la rend extrêmement utile pour l’étude empirique des facteurs qui affectent le patron d’isolement par la distance et des perspectives évolutives de la fidélité au site de naissance chez les poissons.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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