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Beguer-Pon M.,Laval University | Beguer-Pon M.,Dalhousie University | Castonguay M.,Maurice Lamontagne Institute | Benchetrit J.,Laval University | And 8 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2014

Downstream migration of silver American eels (Anguilla rostrata) from the St. Lawrence system was examined using acoustic telemetry. One hundred and thirty six silver American eels were tagged, and their passage was recorded using fixed acoustic arrays covering a 420 km distance along the St. Lawrence River and Estuary. Eighty-nine percent of the tagged eels were detected. All migrant eels (111) exhibited unidirectional and downstream movements, but the migration was not completed in one continuous direct movement. High individual variability in migratory longitudinal profiles was documented as well as in individual speed with no apparent relation to river discharge or morphological traits. Migration speed increased over the season. Our observations demonstrated that migrating silver American eels are largely nocturnal and demonstrated the use of nocturnal, ebb tide transport to leave the estuary. With 44 additional eels tagged and released in the maritime estuary, escapement of 180 silver American eels from the Gulf of St. Lawrence system was monitored along a 125 km acoustic line that entirely covered Cabot Strait in 2011. Surprisingly, only four of the tagged eels were recorded escaping the Gulf of St. Lawrence. © 2014 Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. All rights reserved.


Bradbury I.R.,Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Center | Hamilton L.C.,Bedford Institute of Oceanography | Rafferty S.,Bedford Institute of Oceanography | Meerburg D.,Atlantic Salmon Federation | And 11 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2014

Fisheries targeting mixtures of populations risk the overutilization of minor stock constituents unless harvests are monitored and managed. We evaluated stock composition and exploitation of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in a subsistence fishery in coastal Labrador, Canada, using genetic mixture analysis and individual assignment with a microsatellite baseline (15 loci, 11 829 individuals, 12 regional groups) encompassing the species’ western Atlantic range. Bayesian and maximum likelihood mixture analyses of fishery samples over 6 years (2006–2011; 1772 individuals) indicate contributions of adjacent stocks of 96%–97%. Estimates of fishery-associated exploitation were highest for Labrador salmon (4.2%–10.6% per year) and generally <1% for other regions. Individual assignment of fishery samples indicated nonlocal contributions to the fishery (e.g., Quebec, Newfoundland) were rare and primarily in southern Labrador, consistent with migration pathways utilizing the Strait of Belle Isle. This work illustrates how genetic analysis of mixed stock Atlantic salmon fisheries in the Northwest Atlantic using this new baseline can disentangle exploitation and reveal complex migratory behaviours. © 2015, National Research Council of Canada. All rigts reserved.


Moore J.-S.,Laval University | Bourret V.,Laval University | Dionne M.,Direction de la Faune Aquatique | Bradbury I.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2014

Anadromous Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is a species of major conservation and management concern in North America, where population abundance has been declining over the past 30 years. Effective conservation actions require the delineation of conservation units to appropriately reflect the spatial scale of intraspecific variation and local adaptation. Towards this goal, we used the most comprehensive genetic and genomic database for Atlantic salmon to date, covering the entire North American range of the species. The database included microsatellite data from 9142 individuals from 149 sampling locations and data from a medium-density SNP array providing genotypes for >3000 SNPs for 50 sampling locations. We used neutral and putatively selected loci to integrate adaptive information in the definition of conservation units. Bayesian clustering with the microsatellite data set and with neutral SNPs identified regional groupings largely consistent with previously published regional assessments. The use of outlier SNPs did not result in major differences in the regional groupings, suggesting that neutral markers can reflect the geographic scale of local adaptation despite not being under selection. We also performed assignment tests to compare power obtained from microsatellites, neutral SNPs and outlier SNPs. Using SNP data substantially improved power compared to microsatellites, and an assignment success of 97% to the population of origin and of 100% to the region of origin was achieved when all SNP loci were used. Using outlier SNPs only resulted in minor improvements to assignment success to the population of origin but improved regional assignment. We discuss the implications of these new genetic resources for the conservation and management of Atlantic salmon in North America. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


PubMed | Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Center, Direction de la faune aquatique, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Inverness College University of the Highlands and Islands and Laval University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular ecology | Year: 2015

Identification of discrete and unique assemblages of individuals or populations is central to the management of exploited species. Advances in population genomics provide new opportunities for re-evaluating existing conservation units but comparisons among approaches remain rare. We compare the utility of RAD-seq, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array and a microsatellite panel to resolve spatial structuring under a scenario of possible trans-Atlantic secondary contact in a threatened Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar, population in southern Newfoundland. Bayesian clustering indentified two large groups subdividing the existing conservation unit and multivariate analyses indicated significant similarity in spatial structuring among the three data sets. mtDNA alleles diagnostic for European ancestry displayed increased frequency in southeastern Newfoundland and were correlated with spatial structure in all marker types. Evidence consistent with introgression among these two groups was present in both SNP data sets but not the microsatellite data. Asymmetry in the degree of introgression was also apparent in SNP data sets with evidence of gene flow towards the east or European type. This work highlights the utility of RAD-seq based approaches for the resolution of complex spatial patterns, resolves a region of trans-Atlantic secondary contact in Atlantic Salmon in Newfoundland and demonstrates the utility of multiple marker comparisons in identifying dynamics of introgression.


Vincent B.,Laval University | Dionne M.,Direction de la faune aquatique | Kent M.P.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Lien S.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Bernatchez L.,Laval University
Evolution | Year: 2013

A growing number of studies are examining the factors driving historical and contemporary evolution in wild populations. By combining surveys of genomic variation with a comprehensive assessment of environmental parameters, such studies can increase our understanding of the genomic and geographical extent of local adaptation in wild populations. We used a large-scale landscape genomics approach to examine adaptive and neutral differentiation across 54 North American populations of Atlantic salmon representing seven previously defined genetically distinct regional groups. Over 5500 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in 641 individuals and 28 bulk assays of 25 pooled individuals each. Genome scans, linkage map, and 49 environmental variables were combined to conduct an innovative landscape genomic analysis. Our results provide valuable insight into the links between environmental variation and both neutral and potentially adaptive genetic divergence. In particular, we identified markers potentially under divergent selection, as well as associated selective environmental factors and biological functions with the observed adaptive divergence. Multivariate landscape genetic analysis revealed strong associations of both genetic and environmental structures. We found an enrichment of growth-related functions among outlier markers. Climate (temperature-precipitation) and geological characteristics were significantly associated with both potentially adaptive and neutral genetic divergence and should be considered as candidate loci involved in adaptation at the regional scale in Atlantic salmon. Hence, this study significantly contributes to the improvement of tools used in modern conservation and management schemes of Atlantic salmon wild populations. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution..


Bradbury I.R.,Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Center | Hamilton L.C.,Bedford Institute of Oceanography | Dempson B.,Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Center | Robertson M.J.,Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Center | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2015

Identification of discrete and unique assemblages of individuals or populations is central to the management of exploited species. Advances in population genomics provide new opportunities for re-evaluating existing conservation units but comparisons among approaches remain rare. We compare the utility of RAD-seq, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array and a microsatellite panel to resolve spatial structuring under a scenario of possible trans-Atlantic secondary contact in a threatened Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar, population in southern Newfoundland. Bayesian clustering indentified two large groups subdividing the existing conservation unit and multivariate analyses indicated significant similarity in spatial structuring among the three data sets. mtDNA alleles diagnostic for European ancestry displayed increased frequency in southeastern Newfoundland and were correlated with spatial structure in all marker types. Evidence consistent with introgression among these two groups was present in both SNP data sets but not the microsatellite data. Asymmetry in the degree of introgression was also apparent in SNP data sets with evidence of gene flow towards the east or European type. This work highlights the utility of RAD-seq based approaches for the resolution of complex spatial patterns, resolves a region of trans-Atlantic secondary contact in Atlantic Salmon in Newfoundland and demonstrates the utility of multiple marker comparisons in identifying dynamics of introgression. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Durand J.-D.,Montpellier University | Guinand B.,Montpellier University | Dodson J.J.,Laval University | Lecomte F.,Direction de la faune aquatique
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The bonga shad, Ethmalosa fimbriata, is a West African pelagic species still abundant in most habitats of its distribution range and thought to be only recently affected by anthropogenic pressure (habitat destruction or fishing pressure). Its presence in a wide range of coastal habitats characterised by different hydrodynamic processes, represents a case study useful for evaluating the importance of physical structure of the west African shoreline on the genetic structure of a small pelagic species. To investigate this question, the genetic diversity of E. fimbriata was assessed at both regional and species range scales, using mitochondrial (mt) and nuclear DNA markers. Whereas only three panmictic units were identified with mtDNA at the large spatial scale, nuclear genetic markers (EPIC: exon-primed intron-crossing) indicated a more complex genetic pattern at the regional scale. In the northern-most section of shad's distribution range, up to 4 distinct units were identified. Bayesian inference as well as spatial autocorrelation methods provided evidence that gene flow is impeded by the presence of deep-water areas near the coastline (restricting the width of the coastal shelf), such as the Cap Timiris and the Kayar canyons in Mauritania and Senegal, respectively. The added discriminatory power provided by the use of EPIC markers proved to be essential to detect the influence of more subtle, contemporary processes (e.g. gene flow, barriers, etc.) acting within the glacial refuges identified previously by mtDNA. © 2013 Durand et al.


Perrier C.,Laval University | April J.,Direction de la faune aquatique | Cote G.,Laval University | Bernatchez L.,Laval University | Dionne M.,Direction de la faune aquatique
Conservation Genetics | Year: 2015

Monitoring short-term fluctuations in effective population sizes (Ne) and effective number of breeders (Nb), as well as their ratio to adult census population size (Ne/Nc and Nb/Nc), provide insight into population demography and inform conservation programs towards limiting long-term loss of evolutionary potential in wild populations. In this study, we monitored short-term variations of Nb and Nb/Nc over three consecutive years for nine Atlantic salmon populations from Quebec, Canada. We documented how these population genetic parameters were influenced by anadromous population size as well as yearly and long-term stocking intensity. Towards this end, 15 microsatellites were used to genotype about 100 one-year-old parrs for each of three consecutive years for nine genetically distinct populations (total n = 2506) from Québec, Canada. Yearly stocking intensity had a negative effect on Nb/Nc, possibly as a consequence of a reduced reproductive contribution of stocked relative to wild fish. However, the impact of long-term stocking intensity on Nb/Nc was not significant, which may indicate relatively weak carry-over effects of stocking on future generations. Also, Nb/Nc was negatively correlated with NC, suggesting compensatory mechanisms, as previously reported in other salmonids. Overall, this study provides evidence of relatively weak and short-term effect of stocking on Nb/Nc ratio in Atlantic salmon populations and suggests potential biological mechanisms leading to the significant negative relationship between Nb/Nc and Nc. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Perrier C.,Laval University | Normandeau E.,Laval University | Dionne M.,Direction de la faune aquatique | Richard A.,Laval University | Bernatchez L.,Laval University
Evolutionary Applications | Year: 2014

While nonanadromous males (stream-resident and/or mature male parr) contribute to reproduction in anadromous salmonids, little is known about their impacts on key population genetic parameters. Here, we evaluated the contribution of Atlantic salmon mature male parr to the effective number of breeders (Nb) using both demographic (variance in reproductive success) and genetic (linkage disequilibrium) methods, the number of alleles, and the relatedness among breeders. We used a recently published pedigree reconstruction of a wild anadromous Atlantic salmon population in which 2548 fry born in 2010 were assigned parentage to 144 anadromous female and 101 anadromous females that returned to the river to spawn in 2009 and to 462 mature male parr. Demographic and genetic methods revealed that mature male parr increased population Nb by 1.79 and 1.85 times, respectively. Moreover, mature male parr boosted the number of alleles found among progenies. Finally, mature male parr were in average less related to anadromous females than were anadromous males, likely because of asynchronous sexual maturation between mature male parr and anadromous fish of a given cohort. By increasing Nb and allelic richness, and by decreasing inbreeding, the reproductive contribution of mature male parr has important evolutionary and conservation implications for declining Atlantic salmon populations. © 2014 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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