Title

Genetic Structure of a Disjunct Peripheral Population of Mountain Sucker Pantosteus Jordani in the Black Hills, South Dakota, USA

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

A peripheral population of mountain sucker, Pantosteus jordani, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA, represents the eastern-most range of the species and is completely isolated from other populations. Over the last 50 years, mountain sucker populations have declined in the Black Hills, and now only occur in 40 % of the historic local range, with densities decreasing by more than 84 %.We used microsatellite DNA markers to estimate genetic diversity and to assess population structure across five streams where mountain suckers persist. We evaluated results in the context of recent ecological surveys to inform decisions about mountain sucker conservation. Significant allele frequency differences existed among sample streams (Global FST = 0.041) but there was no evidence of isolation by distance. Regionally, genetic effective size, Ne, was estimated to be at least 338 breeding individuals, but Ne within streams was expected to be less. Despite almost complete demographic isolation and reduced population size, there appears to be little evidence of inbreeding, but genetic drift and local isolation due to fragmentation probably best explains genetic structure in this peripheral mountain sucker population. Recommended strategies for population enhancement include restoration of stream connectivity and habitat improvement. Moreover, repatriation and assisted movement (i.e., gene flow) of fishes should maximize genetic diversity in stream fragments in the Black Hills region.

Publication Title

Conservation Genetics

Volume

17

Issue

4

First Page

775

DOI of Published Version

10.1007/s10592-016-0820-y

Publisher

Springer