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INHS Seminar - Interpreting genetic variation in glaciated environments; implications for conservation of native fishes in the upper Mississippi River basin

Event Type
Illinois Natural History Survey Seminar Committee
wifi event
Oct 5, 2021   4:00 pm  
Peter Berendzen, Professor, Department of Biology, University of Northern Iowa
Jeremy Tiemann
Originating Calendar
INHS Events

Zoom URL: 
Meeting ID:  847 1517 2709 | Password: 662271

Abstract:  Periodic glacial cycles throughout the Quaternary period shaped the landscape and drainage patterns of the upper Mississippi River as well as the composition of the ichthyofauna. Range-wide phylogeographic studies of these fishes reveal a repeated pattern of colonization of the region from the northern Ozark Plateau following the retreat of the Last Glacial Maximum. Today, the landscape of the upper Mississippi River has been dramatically altered by intensive agricultural activities and urbanization. Rivers and streams have been heavily impacted, resulting in loss and degradation of the aquatic habitat and the decline and fragmentation of populations, threatening many native fishes. However, landscape genetic studies of imperiled fishes in the region are often unable to detect the influence of contemporary landscape modifications to the population substructure. The observed genetic signature is overwhelmed by the signal of post-glacial colonization of the region. Although the genetic analyses may be unable to detect any effects due to contemporary habitat alterations, it does not preclude the possibility that populations have been impacted by human activities. These results reveal that it is important to consider species-specific life history, distribution and historical processes when interpreting these data for application to conservation efforts.

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