TitleEffective size of a wild salmonid population is greatly reduced by hatchery supplementation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsChristie, MR, Marine, ML, French, RA, Waples, RS, Blouin, M
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Many declining and commercially important populations are supplemented with captive-born individuals that are intentionally released into the wild. These supplementation programs often create large numbers of offspring from relatively few breeding adults, which can have substantial population-level effects. We examined the genetic effects of supplementation on a wild population of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) from the Hood River, Oregon, by matching 12 run-years of hatchery steelhead back to their broodstock parents. We show that the effective number of breeders producing the hatchery fish (broodstock parents; N-b) was quite small (harmonic mean N-b = 25 fish per brood-year vs 373 for wild fish), and was exacerbated by a high variance in broodstock reproductive success among individuals within years. The low N-b caused hatchery fish to have decreased allelic richness, increased average relatedness, more loci in linkage disequilibrium and substantial levels of genetic drift in comparison with their wild-born counterparts. We also documented a substantial Ryman-Laikre effect whereby the additional hatchery fish doubled the total number of adult fish on the spawning grounds each year, but cut the effective population size of the total population (wild and hatchery fish combined) by nearly two-thirds. We further demonstrate that the Ryman-Laikre effect is most severe in this population when (1) > 10% of fish allowed onto spawning grounds are from hatcheries and (2) the hatchery fish have high reproductive success in the wild. These results emphasize the trade-offs that arise when supplementation programs attempt to balance disparate goals (increasing production while maintaining genetic diversity and fitness). Heredity (2012) 109, 254-260; doi:10.1038/hdy.2012.39; published online 18 July 2012

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000309109700008