A two-step approach, based on a combined use of environmental, geographic, and genetic data, is suggested for studying population structures of species. First, populations are grouped into eco-geographic units (EGUs) according to the environmental gradients in the studied part of the species range, the types of life strategies, and other non-genetic characteristics that are presumably associated with adaptation and interpopulation gene flows. Second, the selected EGUs are tested for their congruence with genetic data by comparing the genetic differentiation between populations within EGUs to that between populations of different EGUs. Some of the issues discussed are as follows: the relationship of the EGU concept with the concepts of biogeocenosis and evolutionarily significant units (ESUs); designing EGUs in practice; the level of EGUs in a hierarchical population structure; and the weights of genetic and phenotypic markers in estimating population differentiation. The population structure of a salmonid fish, the Sakhalin taimen, in terms of eco-geographic units is considered as an example.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 4, 2016
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