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Still time for action: genetic conservation of imperiled South Canadian River fishes, Arkansas River Shiner (Notropis girardi), Peppered Chub (Macrhybopsis tetranema) and Plains Minnow (Hybognathus placitus)

Citation

Osborne, Megan; Hatt, Joanna; Gilbert, Eliza; Davenport, Stephen (2021), Still time for action: genetic conservation of imperiled South Canadian River fishes, Arkansas River Shiner (Notropis girardi), Peppered Chub (Macrhybopsis tetranema) and Plains Minnow (Hybognathus placitus), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9cnp5hqhn

Abstract

Pelagic broadcast spawning cyprinids have declined throughout the North American Great Plains because of adverse habitat changes caused by river fragmentation and altered flow regimes. Despite losses elsewhere, a 218-river kilometer section of the South Canadian River maintains three of these imperiled species: Arkansas River Shiner, Peppered Chub and Plains Minnow. The objective of this study was to determine if species occupying the same river stretch and hence a shared environment, exhibit the same trajectory of genetic change and relative abundance over contemporary timescales. Genetic evaluation of these species is an essential precursor to conservation efforts that may include translocations and establishment of captive populations. Across the time series, each species experienced substantial changes in abundance with Arkansas River Shiner consistently having the highest overall abundance. The abundance of Peppered Chub was uniformly lower but increased between 2012 and 2019, while Plains Minnow abundance declined from 2012 to 2019. Despite dramatic fluctuations in population size over the time series, data from microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA demonstrated that the South Canadian River harbors genetically diverse populations of each of these species. With the Southwestern United States entering another period of exceptional drought, immediate intervention is necessary to ensure persistence of range-restricted Arkansas River Shiner and Peppered Chub. Results of this study show that remnant populations provide a crucial resource for recovery efforts for these species.

Methods

A portion of mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 gene (ND4) (306 and 328 base pair fragments for Arkansas River Shiner and Plains Minnow respectively) was sequenced as described in Osborne et al. (2012).

For Peppered Chub, we sequenced a 580-base pair fragment of NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4L and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 using the following PCR primers (ARGBL and NAP2).

All species were assayed for variation at nine variable microsatellite loci.

Arkansas River Shiner: Nme208, Nme232, (Gold et al. 2004), Ppro126, Ppro132 (Bessert and Orti 2003), Ca6, Ca8, Ca12 (Dimsoski et al. 2000) and Lco3, Lco6 (Turner et al. 2004)

Peppered Chub: Ppro126Ppro132 (Bessert and Orti 2003), Ca3, Ca6Ca12  (Dimsoski et al. 2000), Nme93, Nme232 (Gold et al. 2004),  Lco1, Lco3 (Turner et al. 2004)

Plains Minnow: Ppro126Ppro132 (Bessert and Orti 2003),  Nme93Nme232 (Gold et al. 2004), Ca6, Ca12 (Dimsoski et al. 2000), Lco3, Lco6, Lco7 (Turner et al. 2004)

Samples were assayed on an ABI 3130 DNA sequencer and analyzed with Genemapper software (ABI). 

Funding

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Award: F11AF00075, F12AF00124, F15AP01004, F17AP00041, F18AP00129