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Population genetics of south European Atlantic salmon under global change


Eva Garcia-Vazquez, fax +34985103534, e-mail:


Populations at the edge of species distributions are especially vulnerable to climate change. Genetic changes as well as modification of their population structure are expected as reactions to global warming. Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) inhabiting south France has been chosen as a model for studying the effect of global warming in marginal populations during the last 15 years. Increased gene flow between neighboring populations and dichotomy of maturation age between sexes have been identified as two main population changes significantly associated with high values of the North Atlantic Oscillation index, a global climate indicator. Although occurrence of isolated populations in each river (or even tributary) is a paradigm for this species, at least in northern areas, increased gene flow between rivers is forecasted as long as climate warming increases, favoring metapopulations at regional level.