Ross, P.M., Hogg, I.D., Pilditch, C.A. & Lundquist, C.J. (2009). Phylogeography of New Zealand’s coastal benthos. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 43(5), 1009-1027.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3535
During the past 30 years, 42 molecular studies have been undertaken in New Zealand to examine the phylogeography of coastal benthic invertebrates and plants. Here, we identify generalities and/or patterns that have emerged from this research and consider the processes implicated in generating genetic structure within populations. Studies have used various molecular markers and examined taxonomic groups with a range of life histories and dispersal strategies. Genetic disjunctions have been identified at multiple locations, with the most frequently observed division occurring between northern and southern populations at the top of the South Island. Although upwelling has been implicated as a cause of this disjunction, oceanographic evidence is lacking and alternative hypotheses exist. A significant negative correlation between larval duration and genetic differentiation (r2 = 0.39, P < 0.001, n = 29) across all studies suggests that larval duration might be used as a proxy for dispersal potential. However, among taxa with short larval durations (<10 days) there was greater variability in genetic differentiation than among taxa with longer pelagic periods. This variability implies that when larval duration is short, other factors may determine dispersal and connectivity among populations. Although there has been little congruence between the phylogeographic data and recognised biogeographic regions, recent research has resolved population subdivision at finer spatial scales corresponding more closely with existing biogeographic classifications. The use of fast-evolving and ecologically significant molecular markers in hypothesis-driven research could further improve our ability to detect population subdivision and identify the processes structuring marine ecosystems.
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