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Genetic structuring across marine biogeographic boundaries in rocky shore invertebrates
Villamor, A.; Costantini, F.; Abbiati, M. (2014). Genetic structuring across marine biogeographic boundaries in rocky shore invertebrates. PLoS One 9(7): e101135. https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101135
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203; e-ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine/Coastal

Authors  Top 
  • Villamor, A.
  • Costantini, F.
  • Abbiati, M., more

Abstract
    Biogeography investigates spatial patterns of species distribution. Discontinuities in species distribution are identified as boundaries between biogeographic areas. Do these boundaries affect genetic connectivity? To address this question, a multifactorial hierarchical sampling design, across three of the major marine biogeographic boundaries in the central Mediterranean Sea (Ligurian-Tyrrhenian, Tyrrhenian-Ionian and Ionian-Adriatic) was carried out. Mitochondrial COI sequence polymorphism of seven species of Mediterranean benthic invertebrates was analysed. Two species showed significant genetic structure across the Tyrrhenian-Ionian boundary, as well as two other species across the Ionian Sea, a previously unknown phylogeographic barrier. The hypothesized barrier in the Ligurian-Tyrrhenian cannot be detected in the genetic structure of the investigated species. Connectivity patterns across species at distances up to 800 km apart confirmed that estimates of pelagic larval dispersal were poor predictors of the genetic structure. The detected genetic discontinuities seem more related to the effect of past historical events, though maintained by present day oceanographic processes. Multivariate statistical tools were used to test the consistency of the patterns across species, providing a conceptual framework for across-species barrier locations and strengths. Additional sequences retrieved from public databases supported our findings. Heterogeneity of phylogeographic patterns shown by the 7 investigated species is relevant to the understanding of the genetic diversity, and carry implications for conservation biology.

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