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Keeping things local: Subpopulation Nb and Ne in a stream network with partial barriers to fish migration

August 12, 2016

For organisms with overlapping generations that occur in metapopulations, uncertainty remains regarding the spatiotemporal scale of inference of estimates of the effective number of breeders () and whether these estimates can be used to predict generational Ne. We conducted a series of tests of the spatiotemporal scale of inference of estimates of Nb in nine consecutive cohorts within a long‐term study of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). We also tested a recently developed approach to estimate generational Ne from  and compared this to an alternative approach for estimating  that also accounts for age structure. Multiple lines of evidence were consistent with  corresponding to the local (subpopulation) spatial scale and the cohort‐specific temporal scale. We found that at least four consecutive cohort‐specific estimates of  were necessary to obtain reliable estimates of harmonic mean  for a subpopulation. Generational  derived from cohort‐specific  was within 7%–50% of an alternative approach to obtain , suggesting some population specificity for concordance between approaches. Our results regarding the spatiotemporal scale of inference for Nb should apply broadly to many taxa that exhibit overlapping generations and metapopulation structure and point to promising avenues for using cohort‐specific  for local‐scale genetic monitoring.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Keeping things local: Subpopulation Nb and Ne in a stream network with partial barriers to fish migration
DOI 10.1111/eva.12454
Authors AR Whiteley, JA Coombs, Matthew O'Donnell, KH Nislow, Benjamin Letcher
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Evolutionary Applications
Series Number
Index ID 70211940
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Leetown Science Center