Aim: We explored the factors between riverscape features and exotic introgression of cultured rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) that drive the current genetic structure in the endemic Mexican golden trout (Oncorhynchus chrysogaster) using a riverscape genetics simulator. Location: Sierra Madre Occidental, Northwest Mexico, North America. Methods: We created a system model for Mexican golden trout to test various scenarios for the effect of riverscape resistance and rainbow trout introgression on the native genetic structure of the Mexican golden trout. Individual genotypes were used to initialize the model and were based upon empirical allele frequencies from three genetically and spatially distinct groups in the study area. The geographical location of the simulated populations was defined using a species distribution model. We included hypotheses for movement of riverine distance and riverscape resistance. We evaluated model performance by conducting population and landscape genetics analyses on the simulation outputs. Results: The most plausible scenario included riverscape resistance without introgression, which presented a spatial genetic structure matching the observed riverscape genetic structure and fitting expected general life-history patterns for high elevation trout streams. In addition, temperature, precipitation, hydrology and topography were the most important variables influencing species occurrence and dispersal. Main conclusion: This work presents one of the first empirically derived simulation studies of introgression. It highlights the importance of considering riverscape resistance (i.e. hydroclimatic and topographical gradient effects) in models of spatial genetic structure and introgression. Moreover, our modelling suggests that what we characterize as riverscape resistance is acting as a boundary against exotic introgression. The results of this study could help to develop management strategies that preserve native gene pools.
- Oncorhynchus chrysogaster
- exotic trout
- rainbow trout
- riverscape genetics
- species distribution modelling