Released gamebrds cause introgression in European mallard
2015 (English)In: 4th Pan-European Duck Symposium, Hangö, Finland, 2015, 75- p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
The practice of restocking already viable populations to improve harvest has since long been common in forestry, fisheries and wildlife management. The potential risks with restocking of native species has for a long time been overshadowed by the related issue of invasive species. However, during the last decade releases of native species with a potential non-native genome have attained more attention. A suitable model species for studying genetic effects of large-scale releases of a native species is the Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; it is the most widespread duck in the world, it is a migrating species, and an important game bird. In several European countries it is also farmed and released to increase the harvestable population, and more than 3 million unfledged hatchlings are released each year around Europe. The aims of this study were to determine if wild and released farmed Mallards differed genetically among subpopulations in Europe, if there are signs of previous or ongoing introgression between wild and farmed Mallards, and if the genetic structure of the wild Mallard population has changed since large-scale releases started in the 1970s. We used 360 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) to analyze the genetic structure of historical wild, present-day wild, and farmed Mallards. We found a clear genetic difference between wild and farmed Mallards in Europe. We also found signs of introgression of farmed genes in the wild Mallard population, however, the rate of hybridization is probably minor due to low survival of released farmed Mallards and a change of the wild population since the start of large-scale releases is therefore limited. A low level of hybridization between farmed and wild Mallard is desired as introgressed genes may be detrimental for wild Mallards, and efforts to increase survival of farmed Mallards should therefore not be encouraged.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. 75- p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-16073OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-16073DiVA: diva2:974297
4th Pan-European Duck Symposium, Hangö, Finland, 7-11/4, 2015