The native Mediterranean trout populations in central Italy are at risk of extinction. Hybridization with the alien Atlantic trout represents one of the major threats to the species. The main aim of the research was to test the efficiency of morphological characterization in revealing alien trout introduction, pure lineages and local adaptations, in five watersheds of central Apennines (Italy). Data analysis was carried out for a total of 258 specimens already genetically identified. The results of the multivariate analysis, performed using 10 qualitative and 47 quantitative variables, revealed two distinct phenotypic groups and confirmed, at a morphological level, the genetic separation between Atlantic and Mediterranean trout. The morphological variables that play a key role in the discrimination of the Mediterranean trout were: (i) number of parr marks with striped pattern, (ii) adipose fin mainly with white color and without black spots, and (iii) number of black opercular spots, compared to the Atlantic trout. The geometric analysis revealed the importance of the spatial arrangements of spots on the fish flank and the shape of caudal peduncle in discriminating different Mediterranean populations. The information collected confirmed the powerful of morphological surveys in the screening of conservation status of wild trout populations.
Morphological survey as powerful detection tool of pure and local phenotypes in Salmo trutta complex / Lorenzoni, M.; Carosi, A.; Giovannotti, M.; La Porta, G.; Splendiani, A.; Caputo Barucchi, V.. - In: KNOWLEDGE AND MANAGEMENT OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS. - ISSN 1961-9502. - 2019:420(2019), p. 48. [10.1051/kmae/2019041]