Population and family structure of brown trout, Salmo trutta, in a Mediterranean stream

Manuel Vera, Nuria Sanz, Michael Møller Hansen, Ana Almodovar, Jose-Luis Garcia-Marin

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The physical arrangement of closely related individuals is expected to significantly influence the pattern of population genetic structure. For example, if related individuals are non-randomly distributed and included in samples, this may lead to exaggerated conclusions about genetic differentiation. In the present study, we compared population structure v. family relationships of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) along a Mediterranean stream (Pyrenees) by using eight microsatellite loci. Results showed low levels of genetic (FST) differentiation between collections in a 6.5-km transect along the stream, and a significant correlation between genetic and geographical distance matrices, indicating a weak population structure associated with spatial distribution. Our data also indicated that geographical proximity of related individuals in the youngest (0+, 1+) cohorts probably was associated with limited dispersal of younger brown trout from spawning redds. Family relationships provided evidence, however, for movement of adult trout over distances of a few kilometres that probably contributed to the low observed differentiation. Dispersal of adult Mediterranean trout contrasts with the clustering of related older trout observed for some north European rivers and could be related to the reduced productivity in southern stream basins.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)672-681
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • isolation by distance
  • fish movement
  • family reconstruction

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