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Isolation and population divergence of a widespread Indo-West Pacific marine gastropod at Easter Island
Duda Jr., T.F.; Lee, T. (2009). Isolation and population divergence of a widespread Indo-West Pacific marine gastropod at Easter Island. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 156(6): 1193-1202.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Duda Jr., T.F.
  • Lee, T.

    Oceanic islands represent excellent systems for studying the link between geographic isolation and population divergence. Easter Island is the world’s most isolated island and exhibits a high level of endemicity in the nearshore marine environment. Yet few studies have examined the effect of such extreme isolation on the divergence of populations of widespread species that occur at Easter Island. Conus miliaris, a marine gastropod distributed throughout much of the Indo-West Pacific, occurs at Easter Island where the population is ecologically and morphologically distinct from other populations of the species. To determine whether these phenotypic differences are associated with genetic isolation of the Easter Island population, we investigated the phylogeography of this species by examining mitochondrial COI sequences obtained from 141 individuals from eight localities occurring predominantly in the western, central and southeastern Pacific. Results from our analyses show that C. miliaris at Easter Island differs genetically from other populations. We estimate that C. miliaris colonized Easter Island shortly after the origin of the island =0.7 million years ago and that since population founding, gene flow has occurred predominantly from Easter Island to the west and that little migration has occurred into Easter Island.

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