MICROGEOGRAPHIC GENETIC DIFFERENTIATION IN THE INTERTIDAL ISOPOD JAERA ALBIFRONS LEACH .2. TEMPORAL VARIATION IN ALLELE FREQUENCIES

SB PIERTNEY, GR CARVALHO, Stuart Brannon Piertney

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Abstract

Genetic differentiation in the intertidal isopod Jaera albifrons has been shown to occur on a highly localised scale on British rocky shores. Here we examine the temporal persistence of such genetic heterogeneity by monthly comparison of allozyme frequencies in 20 ''rock-populations'' in the South Wales (UK) area over a 2-yr period (December 1990-December 1992). Seasonal changes in Wright's F-ST indicate persistent microgeographic genetic differentiation between the sites, with higher degrees of divergence occurring during the winter months. Large fluctuations in allele frequency in individual rock-populations were observed between months and deemed too large to be attributable to selective forces or random genetic drift. It is proposed that the instability of rock-populations results in different assemblages of animals being sampled each month. The temporal persistence of 25 rock-populations was estimated directly by examining the change in the density of animals over a 10-day period. Occasional marked and rapid changes indicate that localised extinctions and recolonizations are a relatively common occurrence in natural populations, and suggests that the previously proposed two-dimensional stepping stone model of population structure can display metapopulation tendencies. The significance of such a structure in producing population divergence is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-288
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Volume188
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 1995

Keywords

  • ALLOZYMES
  • DISPERSAL CAPACITY
  • GENE FLOW
  • JAERA ALBIFRONS
  • METAPOPULATION
  • POPULATION DIFFERENTIATION
  • GROUP SELECTION
  • POPULATIONS
  • SIZE
  • RECOLONIZATION
  • EXTINCTION
  • EVOLUTION

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