MEPS 314:283-293 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/meps314283

Impacts of marine biogeographic boundaries on phylogeographic patterns of three South African estuarine crustaceans

Peter R. Teske1,2,*, Christopher D. McQuaid2, P. William Froneman2, Nigel P. Barker1

1Molecular Ecology and Systematics Group, Botany Department, Rhodes University, 6140 Grahamstown, South Africa
2Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, 6140 Grahamstown, South Africa

ABSTRACT: The South African coastline comprises 3 main biogeographic provinces: (1) the cool-temperate west coast, (2) the warm-temperate south coast, and (3) the subtropical east coast. The boundaries between these regions are defined by changes in species compositions and hydrological conditions. It is possible that these affect phylogeographic patterns of coastal organisms differently, depending on the species’ ecologies and modes of dispersal. In the present study, genealogies of 3 estuarine crustaceans, each characterized by a different mode of passive dispersal and present in more than one biogeographic province, were reconstructed using mtDNA COI sequences, and the impacts of biogeographic boundaries on their phylogeographic patterns were compared. The species were (mode of dispersal in brackets): (1) the mudprawn Upogebia africana (planktonic larvae), (2) the isopod Exosphaeroma hylecoetes (adult rafting), and (3) the cumacean Iphinoe truncata (adult drifting). Two major mtDNA lineages with slightly overlapping distributions were identified in U. africana (the species with the highest dispersal potential). The other 2 species had 3 mtDNA lineages each, which were characterized by strict geographic segregation. Phylogeographic breaks in U. africana and E. hylecoetes coincided with biogeographic boundaries, whereas the phylogeographic patterns identified in I. truncata may reflect persistent palaeogeographic patterns. Ecological factors and modes of dispersal are likely to have played a role in both cladogenesis of the different lineages and in the establishment of their present-day distribution patterns.

KEY WORDS: Mode of dispersal · Planktonic larvae · Rafting · Isolation by distance · mtDNA cytochrome oxidase I · Parapatry

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