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Introgressive hybridization among major Columbia River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) lineages within the Klickitat River due to hatchery practices

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Major lineages of anadromous salmonids show resilience to natural introgressive hybridization; however, Klickitat River spring-run Chinook salmon (KRSC, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) have an enigmatic origin because of their intermediate genetic and geographic relationship among Columbia River Chinook salmon lineages. We used computer simulations to evaluate four anthropogenic and natural processes as likely causes of the apparent introgressed genetic composition of KRSC: recent admixture (∼5 generations), historical admixture (>200 generations), isolation-by-distance gene flow, and natural selection. We also genotyped 2413 fish (32 collections) across 96 single nucleotide polymorphism loci to clarify the relationship of KRSC among the three major Columbia River lineages (Lower Columbia and interior ocean- and stream-types) and to quantify introgression among collections. Between 1980 and 2000, we observed a decline of pure interior stream-type individuals in the KRSC collections. This temporal shift in genetic composition was coincident with relevant changes in hatchery practices. Based on results from the simulations and time-series samples, a recent and anthropogenically caused admixture was most likely responsible for introgression of KRSC. Potential long-term negative effects of introgression may require some form of mitigation.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, 3059-F National Fish Hatchery Road, Hagerman, ID 83332, USA. 2: Yakama Nation Fisheries Program, Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project, P.O. Box 151, Toppenish, WA 98948, USA.

Publication date: November 21, 2011

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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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