A key piece of information for ecosystem management is the relationship between the environment and population genetic structure. However, it is difficult to clearly quantify the effects of environmental factors on genetic differentiation because of spatial autocorrelation and analytical problems. In this study, we focused on stream ecosystems and the environmental heterogeneity caused by groundwater and constructed a sampling design in which geographic distance and environmental differences are not correlated. Using multiplexed ISSR genotyping by sequencing (MIG-seq) method, a fine-scale population genetics study was conducted in fluvial sculpin Cottus nozawae, for which summer water temperature is the determinant factor in distribution and survival. There was a clear genetic structure in the watershed. Although a significant isolation-by-distance pattern was detected in the watershed, there was no association between genetic differentiation and water temperature. Instead, asymmetric gene flow from relatively low-temperature streams to high-temperature streams was detected, indicating the importance of low-temperature streams and continuous habitats. The groundwater-focused sampling strategy yielded insightful results for conservation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas