Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): A. Whiteley; P. Spruell; B. Rieman; F. Allendorf
    Date: 2006
    Source: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135: 1238-1253.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (370 B)


    We used six polymorphic microsatellite loci to analyze the population genetic structure of bull trout Salvelinus confluentus in the Boise River, Idaho, and we compared our results with previous data from similarly sized river systems in western North America. Within the Boise River, we found low genetic variation within and significant differentiation among sample sites. Two cohesive groups of populations were associated with the two major subbasins in this system, which we attributed to long-term reduction of gene flow or distinct sources of colonization at this scale. We observed a significant pattern of isolation by distance in one subbasin and not in the other; this result suggests that the relative influences of gene flow and drift have differed between the two subbasins. Ecologically defined patches of suitable habitat were not good predictors of genetic variation among samples. Dams and other anthropogenic barriers have recently changed the potential for gene flow and genetic drift but were not associated with the major boundaries of genetic differentiation. There was some evidence of lost genetic variation in smaller patches that were physically isolated by both natural and anthropogenic barriers. We found a large range of within-population genetic variation and among-population genetic differentiation for bull trout from river basins across the species' range, but our estimates in the Boise River were the lowest (or among the lowest) observed. The relative roles of drift and gene flow appear to vary strongly at both fine and broad spatial scales. We cannot presume that the physical and ecological processes influencing the genetic population structure of bull trout in one region will accurately reflect those in another region; this may have important implications for conservation and management actions.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Whiteley, A.; Spruell, P.; Rieman, B.; Allendorf, F. 2006. Fine-scale genetic structure of bull trout at the southern limit of their distribution. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135: 1238-1253.


    bull trout, Salvelinus confluentus, Boise River, Idaho, populations

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page