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Contrasting genetic structure of sympatric congeneric gastropods: Do differences in habitat preference, abundance and distribution matter?

Contrasting genetic structure of sympatric congeneric gastropods: Do differences in habitat preference, abundance and distribution matter?
Contrasting genetic structure of sympatric congeneric gastropods: Do differences in habitat preference, abundance and distribution matter?
Aim: The relationship of population genetics with the ecology and biogeography of species may be explored by comparing phenotypically similar but ecologically differ- ent congeners with overlapping ranges. We compared genetic differentiation between two congeneric rocky intertidal gastropods across a major portion of their sympatric range. We hypothesized that the habitat generalist with high abundance and continuous distribution would exhibit comparatively less genetic differentiation than the habitat specialist with low abundance and a fragmented distribution.

Location: North‐east Atlantic from the north‐west Iberian Peninsula to southern British coastline.
Taxon: Gastropoda, Trochidae, Steromphala (formerly Gibbula).

Methods: Field surveys were conducted to assess the presence/absence and the abundance of Steromphala umbilicalis (generalist) and S. pennanti (specialist) at 23 localities along ~1,800 km coastline. We isolated polymorphic microsatellite markers for both species (seven loci for S. umbilicalis and eight for S. pennanti) and used these to genotype 187 S. umbilicalis and 157 S. pennanti individuals. We used standard population genetic analyses to compare patterns of genetic differentiation between species in relation to the field surveys.

Results: Steromphala pennanti showed a more fragmented distribution, significantly lower abundance, and greater genetic differentiation than S. umbilicalis. One S. umbilicalis population towards the north of the range (southern Britain) was genetically distinct from all other sampled populations. Steromphala pennanti showed greater genetic differentiation between three southern localities, which may be attributable to its fragmented distribution and lower abundance because of limited avail- ability of its preferred fucoid habitat in this region. We also suggest that oceanographic currents could be associated with regional genetic structure.

Main conclusions: The habitat generalist showed high‐local abundances, continuous distribution and low regional genetic differentiation. We found the opposite pattern for the habitat specialist. Our study highlights the importance of considering ecological (e.g. abundance, habitat preferences) and abiotic variables (e.g. ocean currents and temperature) for understanding differences in genetic structure of sympatrically distributed congeners.
0305-0270
369–380
Wort, Edward
db985ea8-16f4-416f-97cb-6a0fcbd0a8be
Chapman, Mark
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Hawkins, Stephen John
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa
Henshall, Lucy
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Pita, Alfonso
3941a65e-d445-4cd0-9ead-f203fc984bae
Rius, Marc
c4e88345-4b4e-4428-b4b2-37229155f68d
Williams, Suzanne T.
9c6cd5c1-adbd-41a7-9f56-752d363f8702
Fenberg, Phillip
c73918cd-98cc-41e6-a18c-bf0de4f1ace8
Wort, Edward
db985ea8-16f4-416f-97cb-6a0fcbd0a8be
Chapman, Mark
8bac4a92-bfa7-4c3c-af29-9af852ef6383
Hawkins, Stephen John
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa
Henshall, Lucy
d3ee4f86-421d-47f0-8158-8380d1a72cb0
Pita, Alfonso
3941a65e-d445-4cd0-9ead-f203fc984bae
Rius, Marc
c4e88345-4b4e-4428-b4b2-37229155f68d
Williams, Suzanne T.
9c6cd5c1-adbd-41a7-9f56-752d363f8702
Fenberg, Phillip
c73918cd-98cc-41e6-a18c-bf0de4f1ace8

Wort, Edward, Chapman, Mark, Hawkins, Stephen John, Henshall, Lucy, Pita, Alfonso, Rius, Marc, Williams, Suzanne T. and Fenberg, Phillip (2019) Contrasting genetic structure of sympatric congeneric gastropods: Do differences in habitat preference, abundance and distribution matter? Journal of Biogeography, 46 (2), 369–380. (doi:10.1111/jbi.13502).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aim: The relationship of population genetics with the ecology and biogeography of species may be explored by comparing phenotypically similar but ecologically differ- ent congeners with overlapping ranges. We compared genetic differentiation between two congeneric rocky intertidal gastropods across a major portion of their sympatric range. We hypothesized that the habitat generalist with high abundance and continuous distribution would exhibit comparatively less genetic differentiation than the habitat specialist with low abundance and a fragmented distribution.

Location: North‐east Atlantic from the north‐west Iberian Peninsula to southern British coastline.
Taxon: Gastropoda, Trochidae, Steromphala (formerly Gibbula).

Methods: Field surveys were conducted to assess the presence/absence and the abundance of Steromphala umbilicalis (generalist) and S. pennanti (specialist) at 23 localities along ~1,800 km coastline. We isolated polymorphic microsatellite markers for both species (seven loci for S. umbilicalis and eight for S. pennanti) and used these to genotype 187 S. umbilicalis and 157 S. pennanti individuals. We used standard population genetic analyses to compare patterns of genetic differentiation between species in relation to the field surveys.

Results: Steromphala pennanti showed a more fragmented distribution, significantly lower abundance, and greater genetic differentiation than S. umbilicalis. One S. umbilicalis population towards the north of the range (southern Britain) was genetically distinct from all other sampled populations. Steromphala pennanti showed greater genetic differentiation between three southern localities, which may be attributable to its fragmented distribution and lower abundance because of limited avail- ability of its preferred fucoid habitat in this region. We also suggest that oceanographic currents could be associated with regional genetic structure.

Main conclusions: The habitat generalist showed high‐local abundances, continuous distribution and low regional genetic differentiation. We found the opposite pattern for the habitat specialist. Our study highlights the importance of considering ecological (e.g. abundance, habitat preferences) and abiotic variables (e.g. ocean currents and temperature) for understanding differences in genetic structure of sympatrically distributed congeners.

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Wort et al 2019 Journal of Biogeography - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 12 November 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 January 2019
Published date: February 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427996
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427996
ISSN: 0305-0270
PURE UUID: a4a1c069-8b2d-405f-acef-054c3d1621c0
ORCID for Mark Chapman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7151-723X

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Date deposited: 06 Feb 2019 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 02:03

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Contributors

Author: Edward Wort
Author: Mark Chapman ORCID iD
Author: Lucy Henshall
Author: Alfonso Pita
Author: Marc Rius
Author: Suzanne T. Williams
Author: Phillip Fenberg

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