Variation in life-history traits of male Japanese fluvial sculpin Cottus pollux in relation to nest abundance along a stream course
Gene products of 18 allozyme loci from 1268 individuals of a Japanese freshwater goby called donko, Odontobutis obscura (Odontobutidae; Gobioidei), from 33 localities in the Koya River, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, were investigated to determine the extent of genetic divergence and gene flow within a river metapopulation. Genetic indices including GST(mean FST 0.182), FIT(mean 0.192) and D(mean 0.015) indicated a considerable divergence of local populations in the river. The genetic distance (D) and channel distance between pairs of populations did not show a good correlation, and geographical neighbors were not always genetic neighbors. Therefore, the genetic divergence of populations is attributable to independent genetic drift with restricted gene flow among populations. The agricultural dams and weirs constructed across the river must be responsible for the restricted gene flow. The metapopulation structure of O. obscura in the Koya River may be barely sustained by one-way gene flow only from the upper to the lower populations. An occasional artificial transplantation of some individuals from the lower to the upper populations may be one alternative to maintain a river metapopulation structure safely.