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.
|Title||Keeping things local: Subpopulation Nb and Ne in a stream network with partial barriers to fish migration|
|Authors||AR Whiteley, JA Coombs, Matthew O'Donnell, KH Nislow, Benjamin Letcher|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Evolutionary Applications|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Leetown Science Center|