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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 349:125-138 (2007)  -  DOI:

Limits to gene flow in the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata as revealed by microsatellite data and a larval dispersal model

Lise Dupont1,3,*, Céline Ellien2, Frédérique Viard1,*

1Evolution & Génétique des Populations Marines, UMR 7144 Adaptations et diversité en milieu marin (CNRS-UPMC) Station Biologique, Place Georges-Teissier, BP 74, 29682 Roscoff Cedex, France
2UMR 5178 Biologie des Organismes Marins et Écosystèmes (CNRS-UPMC-MNHN), Département Milieux et Peuplements Aquatiques, Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 61 rue Buffon, 75231 Paris Cedex 5, France
3Present address: Laboratoire de Biologie des Sols et des Eaux, UMR 137 Biodiversité et fonctionnement des sols, Faculté des Sciences et Technologies, 61 avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94010 Créteil Cedex, France
*Corresponding authors. Email: ,

ABSTRACT: Crepidula fornicata, one of the most invasive marine sessile invertebrates in Europe, has traits commonly associated with a weak population genetic structure (high population connectivity): wide environmental tolerance, high fecundity, and a long planktonic larval stage (21 d). In order to determine the scale at which effective dispersal occurs in this potentially highly dispersive species, we designed a hierarchical sampling protocol and analyzed genetic variation at 4 microsatellite loci in 17 populations from 6 French bays situated in the English Channel and at the entrance of the English Channel (Iroise Sea). A strong regional pattern with populations clustered into 3 main groups (Iroise Sea, western and eastern English Channel) was revealed, as was significant isolation by distance along the Channel coasts. Conversely, a high degree of genetic connectivity was observed within the study bays. These estimates of effective dispersal were in agreement with outputs of a 2D larval-dispersal model based on local hydrodynamic conditions, suggesting that connectivity between populations of C. fornicata is influenced by hydrodynamic feature. This study suggests the existence of barriers to gene flow of C. fornicata over moderate distances (ca. 100 km).

KEY WORDS: Slipper limpet · Larval dispersal · Invasive species · Gene flow · Dispersal modelling

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Cite this article as: Dupont L, Ellien C, Viard F (2007) Limits to gene flow in the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata as revealed by microsatellite data and a larval dispersal model. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 349:125-138.

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