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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 368:189-195 (2008)  -  DOI:

Coastal topography drives genetic structure in marine mussels

K. R. Nicastro1,3,*, G. I. Zardi1,3,*,**, C. D. McQuaid1, P. R. Teske1,2, N. P. Barker2

1Department of Zoology & Entomology, and 2Molecular Ecology and Systematics Group, Department of Botany, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
3Present address: CCMAR—CIMAR laboratório Associado, Universidade do Algarve, Gambelas 8005-139, Faro, Portugal
*These authors contributed equally to this work
**Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Understanding population connectivity is fundamental to ecology, and, for sedentary organisms, connectivity is achieved through larval dispersal. We tested whether coastal topography influences genetic structure in Perna perna mussels by comparing populations inside bays and on the open coast. Higher hydrodynamic stress on the open coast produces higher mortality and thus genetic turnover. Populations on the open coast had fewer private haplotypes and less genetic endemism than those inside bays. Gene flow analysis showed that bays act as source populations, with greater migration rates out of bays than into them. Differences in genetic structure on scales of 10s of kilometres show that coastal configuration strongly affects selection, larval dispersal and haplotype diversity.

KEY WORDS: Dispersal · Coastal topography · Connectivity

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Cite this article as: Nicastro KR, Zardi GI, McQuaid CD, Teske PR, Barker NP (2008) Coastal topography drives genetic structure in marine mussels. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 368:189-195.

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