• The Colonization Mechanism Of Pink Salmon Populations In Glacier Bay, Alaska, Based On Genetic Data

      Kondzela, Christine M.; Gharrett, A. J.; Wilmot, Richard; Pella, Jerry; Smoker, William; Finney, Bruce (2010)
      Following retreat of the last glacial advance in the early 1700s, pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha colonized many watersheds in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Streams in the lower Bay were populated first, and colonization proceeded up the Bay during the last 200 years. The objective of this study was to use analyses of genetic data---microsatellite and allozyme loci, and mitochondrial DNA haplotypes---to elucidate the colonization mechanism. The even- and odd-year broodlines served as replicate experiments; the mechanisms of colonization for the two broodlines were similar in most respects. The population genetic structure, based on allele/haplotype frequencies and genetic diversity (FST), suggested that in general, deglaciated streams were populated by colonists from nearby locations. The populations in lower Glacier Bay were likely established by colonists from populations outside Glacier Bay. In turn, the lower Bay populations contributed colonists to populations farther up the Bay, which subsequently provided colonists to the most recently deglaciated locations in the upper Bay, although in the even-year there appeared to be some contribution to the youngest populations from older populations, outside of or in lower Glacier Bay. Few genetically divergent donor sources contributed colonists based on the limited linkage disequilibrium, higher relatedness, and lower allelic diversity within Glacier Bay populations. The number of fish involved in initial colonization was not large, based on slightly reduced genetic diversity within Glacier Bay, but minimal founder effect signals precluded very small numbers of fish as well. Most of the genetic variation appeared early in the formation of populations and effective population size estimates were >100 fish in every population. Some gene flow after initial colonization is supported by the increased allelic diversity and decline in relatedness with population age, but heterogeneity within Glacier Bay suggested that gene flow must be limited among some populations. Colonization of the youngest streams coincided with the historically high abundance of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska during the 1990s; I speculate that the rapid expansion in the size of these populations subsequent to this study was the result of high survival rather than extensive gene flow.