Northern refugia and recent expansion in the North Sea: The case of the wrasse Symphodus melops (Linnaeus, 1758)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Pleistocene climate changes have imposed extreme conditions to intertidal rocky marine communities, forcing many species to significant range shifts in their geographical distributions. Phylogeographic analyses based on both mitochondrial and nuclear genetic markers provide a useful approach to unravel phylogeographic patterns and processes of species after this time period, to gain general knowledge of how climatic changes affect shifts in species distributions. We analyzed these patterns on the corkwing wrasse (Symphodus melops, Labridae), a rocky shore species inhabiting North Sea waters and temperate northeastern Atlantic Ocean from Norway to Morocco including the Azores, using a fragment of the mitochondrial control region and the first intron of the nuclear S7 ribosomal protein gene. We found that S. melops shows a clear differentiation between the Atlantic and the Scandinavian populations and a sharp contrast in the genetic diversity, high in the south and low in the north. Within each of these main geographic areas there is little or no genetic differentiation. The species may have persisted throughout the last glacial maximum in the southern areas as paleotemperatures were not lower than they are today in North Scandinavia. The North Sea recolonization most likely took place during the current interglacial and is dominated by a haplotype absent from the south of the study area, but present in Plymouth and Belfast. The possibility of a glacial refugium in or near the English Channel is discussed.
Published version of an article in the journal: Ecology and Evolution. Also available from the publisher at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.77 Open Access