Data from: The role of ecotype-environment interactions in intraspecific trophic niche partitioning subsequent to stocking
Morissette, Olivier et al. (2019), Data from: The role of ecotype-environment interactions in intraspecific trophic niche partitioning subsequent to stocking, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nt511dp
Worldwide, stocking of fish represent a valuable tool for conservation and maintenance of species exploited by recreational fishing. Releases of hatchery-reared fish are more and more recognized to have numerous demographic, ecological and genetic impacts on wild populations. However, consequences on intraspecific trophic relationships have rarely been investigated. In this study, we assessed the impacts of supplementation stocking and resulting introgressive hybridization on the trophic niches occupied by stocked, local and hybrid Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) within populations of piscivorous and planktivorous ecotypes stocked from a wild piscivorous source population. We compared trophic niches using stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) and trophic position among the three genetic origins. Putative genetic effects were tested with phenotype-genotype association of “life history” ecological traits (body size, growth rate, condition index and trophic niche) and genotypes (RADseq SNP markers) using redundant discriminant analysis (RDA). Results showed that sympatry resulting from the stocking of contrasting ecotypes is a risk factor for niche partitioning. Planktivorous populations are more susceptible to niche partitioning, by competitive exclusion of the local fish from a littoral niche to an alternative pelagic/profundal niche. Observed niche partitioning is probably a manifestation of competitive interactions between ecotypes. Our results emphasize that ecotypic variation should be considered for more efficient management and conservation practices and in order to mitigate negative impact of supplementation stocking.