Dehais C, Eudeline R, Berrebi P, Argillier C. Microgeographic genetic isolation in chub (Cyprinidae: Squalius cephalus) population of the Durance River: estimating fragmentation by dams.
Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2010: 19: 267–278. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Abstract – Weirs and dams are wide spread throughout the world’s river systems. The most direct effect of these barriers is the limitation of organism movements, i.e., the alteration of connectivity by fragmentation of the aquatic habitat. Whereas the impact of fragmentation on migratory fish species has been well studied, insights on nonmigratory species are still needed. In particular, knowledge on the effects of dams on cyprinid populations at the watershed scale is lacking. Therefore, we studied the genetic structure of eleven chub (Squalius cephalus) samples lined up in the highly fragmented Durance River (France). Using five microsatellite loci, we show that even if the overall genetic differentiation is low, isolation by distance does occur and that genetic diversity increases from upstream to downstream. Dams seem to participate jointly with waterway distance in the explanation of this pattern. However more precise conclusions cannot be made. Guidance for future studies are given.