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CONSERVATION OF GENETIC RESOURCES: EXPERIENCES FROM THE BROWN TROUT ("SALMO TRUTTA")

N. Ryman
Ecological Bulletins
No. 34, Fish Gene Pools: Preservation of Genetic Resources in Relation to Wild Fish Stocks (1981), pp. 61-74
Published by: Oikos Editorial Office
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43908647
Page Count: 14
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CONSERVATION OF GENETIC RESOURCES: EXPERIENCES FROM THE BROWN TROUT ("SALMO TRUTTA")
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Abstract

It is stressed that the most important prerequisite for a successful conservation programme is the accurate identification and characterization of the genetic resources available. The identification of intraspecific genetic resources is largely a matter of estimating the amount and, in particular, the distribution of genetic variation within the species considered. Using the brown trout as an example, I report on the distribution of genetic variation at three electrophoretically detectable loci coding for α-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase, creatine phosphokinase, and lactate dehyrogenase in hatchery stocks and natural populations which have been subjected to various degrees of human manipulation. The results indicate that (i) the genetic structure of naturally occurring brown trout populations is far more complicated than was previously recognized, (ii) genetically differentiated subpopulations exist within extremely small geographical areas, and (iii) this genetic differentiation is coupled with ecological and morphological divergence. The genetic pattern observed in waters affected by human perturbations indicate that the disturbances have drastically altered the distribution of genetic variation in those areas and that the genetic characteristics of previously existing subpopulations have most likely been lost. There is also strong evidence showing that current hatchery stocking procedures may frequently change the genetic composition of the stock (genetic resource) they were intended to preserve. These findings are discussed from a perspective of currently practised and future management operations.

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