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EVALUATING GENETIC RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE LAKE ONTARIO DEEPWATER SCULPIN POPULATION AND UPPER GREAT LAKES POPULATIONS

Deepwater sculpin Myoxocephalus thompsonii were considered   extirpated from Lake Ontario.  Recent collections, including   captures of young individuals, indicate ongoing recruitment that   could be a product of an expanding remnant population, or downstream   drift of larvae from the Upper Great Lakes. Restoration of this   species is important to diversifying, and therefore increasing   resiliency of, the Lake Ontario benthic food web. Both ecosystem   resilience and species viability are enhanced with increased   diversity.  It is unclear if the extant Lake Ontario population is   genetically robust, or if enhancement of the population via inter-  lake transfer may be a viable option to restore the population.   Genetic relationships have previously been evaluated among deepwater   sculpin populations in the Upper Great Lakes using mitochondrial DNA   (mtDNA) and three microsatellite loci. The use of additional genetic   markers will provide the necessary resolution to determine the   history and status of the existing deepwater sculpin population in   Lake Ontario. We hypothesize that the current Lake Ontario   population will have lower genetic diversity relative to Upper Great   Lakes populations due to its recent severe population decline.  We   also hypothesize that the Lake Ontario population was founded by   individuals from the Upper Great Lakes and will therefore be   genetically similar to some Upper Great Lakes populations.  Genetic   data have been widely used in many species to infer origins and gene   flow as well as historical demography.

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Researchers
Amy WelshPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 2 projects
Kim ScribnerResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Wendy StottResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Michael KeirResearcher
Associated with 2 projects
Maureen WalshResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Michael ConnertonResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
James HoyleResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Agencies
Great Lakes Fishery Commission $ 62,822.00USDActual

Funding 3 projects for a total of $62,822.00
Scope of Study
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Population
Processes
Natural Ecological Processes
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Ontario
State Province
New York
Ontario

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