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Keywords:

  • conservation genetics;
  • hybridization;
  • introgression;
  • microsatellites;
  • population structure;
  • Salmo marmoratus

Abstract

Populations of the marble trout (Salmo marmoratus) have declined critically due to introgression by brown trout (Salmo trutta) strains. In order to define strategies for long-term conservation, we examined the genetic structure of the 8 known pure populations using 15 microsatellite loci. The analyses reveal extraordinarily strong genetic differentiation among populations separated by < 15 km, and extremely low levels of intrapopulation genetic variability. As natural recolonization seems highly unlikely, appropriate management and conservation strategies should comprise the reintroduction of pure populations from mixed stocks (translocation) to avoid further loss of genetic diversity.