Determining the Appropriate Unit of Management Among Brook Trout Populations Exhibiting Prodigious Neutral Genetic Differentiation and Cryptic Metapopulations in the Chesapeake Bay Drainages with Emphasis on Catoctin Mountain Park
Tim King- Fishery Biologist (Genomics), U.S. Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center
USGS-Leetown Science Center in cooperation with the National Park Service has genetically characterized in excess of 26,000 Brook Trout sampled throughout the species’ range at 13 microsatellite DNA markers. Extensive population and individual scale analyses have found prodigious neutral genetic differentiation and few (often cryptic) metapopulations at every scale compared. This punctuated distribution of isolated populations creates a significant resource management conundrum – limited resources force the inevitable questions of how to prioritize populations for management consideration. This presentation will provide insight into defining the appropriate units of management for Brook Trout inhabiting the Chesapeake Bay drainages with particular emphasis placed on the collections from Catoctin Mountain Park (CATO). Brook Trout inhabiting CATO represent a model for assessing ecological and evolutionary processes. We will present the results of new genome-scale analyses which are casting light on the fitness and adaptability (e.g., phenotypic plasticity and genetic) of populations under impending environmental change.