Historical translocations by Maori may explain the distribution and genetic structure of a threatened surf clam in Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Ross, P. M., Knox, M. A., Smith, S., Smith, H., Williams, J., & Hogg, I. D. (2018). Historical translocations by Maori may explain the distribution and genetic structure of a threatened surf clam in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Scientific Reports, 8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-35564-4
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13187
The population genetic structure of toheroa (Paphies ventricosa), an Aotearoa (New Zealand) endemic surf clam, was assessed to determine levels of inter-population connectivity and test hypotheses regarding life history, habitat distribution and connectivity in coastal vs. estuarine taxa. Ninety-eight toheroa from populations across the length of New Zealand were sequenced for the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene with analyses suggesting a population genetic structure unique among New Zealand marine invertebrates. Toheroa genetic diversity was high in Te Ika-a Māui (the North Island of New Zealand) but completely lacking in the south of Te Waipounamu (the South Island), an indication of recent isolation. Changes in habitat availability, long distance dispersal events or translocation of toheroa to southern New Zealand by Māori could explain the observed geographic distribution of toheroa and their genetic diversity. Given that early-Māori and their ancestors, were adept at food cultivation and relocation, the toheroa translocation hypothesis is plausible and may explain the disjointed modern distribution of this species. Translocation would also explain the limited success in restoring what may in some cases be ecologically isolated populations located outside their natural distributions and preferred niches.
Nature Publishing Group
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.