This work formed part of Chris Wilson's PhD research with Paul Hebert, examining the impacts of Pleistocene events on the distribution and genetic structure of northern fishes. The research was carried out in collaboration with Jim Reist and Brian Dempson of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, who both have strong interests in the zoogeography and ecology of salmonid fishes.
Phylogeography and postglacial dispersal of arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus in North America
Article first published online: 22 SEP 2009
Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 187–197, April 1996
How to Cite
WILSON, C. C., HEBERT, P. D. N., REIST, J. D. and DEMPSON, J. B. (1996), Phylogeography and postglacial dispersal of arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus in North America. Molecular Ecology, 5: 187–197. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.1996.00265.x
- Issue published online: 22 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 22 SEP 2009
- Received 6 February 1995 revised 10 May 1995 accepted 13 August 1995
- arctic charr;
- mitochondrial DNA;
- Pleistocene zoogeography;
- postglacial dispersal;
Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was used to reconstruct postglacial dispersal routes of arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus in North America. Twelve of 35 restriction enzymes detected polymorphisms among representative populations, revealing two distinct lineages with an estimated nucleotide divergence of 1.32%. Subsequent screening of 869 fish from 54 populations with four diagnostic restriction enzymes showed that these lineages have largely allopatric distributions, suggesting their dispersal from separate northern and eastern glacial refugia. In addition, geographical and genetic structure among eastern populations suggested the existence of a second eastern refuge. Among the three lineages, the most divergent (Arctic) lineage occurred from Alaska east to northern Labrador. Quebec, New Brunswick, and New England were colonized by a second (Laurentian) lineage, and Labrador by a third group. Contact between refugial groups was only detected in two Labrador populations. The Arctic lineage was highly differentiated from eastern North American and European haplotypes, and probably diverged during the early Pleistocene. By contrast, the Laurentian and Labrador groups were similar to Old World charr, suggesting a shared ancestry during the mid-Pleistocene. In addition, the close relationship between Labrador and Laurentian charr indicates their probable divergence during the Wisconsinan glaciation.