The aim of this study was to examine the genetic structuring, based on c. 4300 single nucleotide polymorphic markers, of juvenile Atlantic salmon Salmo salar sampled from 11 rivers in north‐east Scotland, which form part of a radial drainage system. Within this area, sites in the upper mountainous and lower coastal sections of the different rivers were more closely related than sites from the upper and lower sections of the same river. Differentiation between fish from upper and lower sections was related to both distance from the sea and elevation, which were themselves correlated. The occurrence of such cross‐river genetic grouping appears to be the result of both similar selective pressures resulting in homologous adaptive differences within each river and also recent common ancestry between rivers. Examination of historical tagging information showed high rates (27·4%) of between‐river straying in this region that may help to maintain the across rather than between‐river structure. The existence of cross‐river groupings highlights the complex structuring of S. salar populations and may confound genetic identification of single‐river stocks. Furthermore, the results presented show that cross‐river structuring should also be an important consideration in managing S. salar stocks.
Journal of Fish Biology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
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