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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 612:151-165 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12855

Environmental and demographic factors influence the spatial genetic structure of an intertidal barnacle in central-northern Chile

Mario Barahona1,2, Bernardo R. Broitman3,4, Sylvain Faugeron2,5,*, Lucie Jaugeon5, Andrés Ospina-Alvarez6, David Véliz7, Sergio A. Navarrete1,8

1Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas - Las Cruces, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, El Tabo 2690931, Chile
2Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 8331150, Chile
3Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo 1781421, Chile
4Departamento de Ciencias, Facultad de Artes Liberales, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Viña del Mar 2562340, Chile
5CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad Austral de Chile, UMI Evolutionary Biology and Ecology of Algae, Station Biologique de Roscoff, 29680 Roscoff, France
6Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA-CSIC/UIB), C/Miguel Marques 21, CP 07190 Esporles, Balearic Islands, Spain
7Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (IEB), Nucleo Milenio de Ecología y Manejo Sustentable de Islas Oceánicas (ESMOI), Universidad de Chile, Santiago 7800003, Chile
8Center for Applied Ecology and Sustainability (CAPES) and LINCGlobal, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 8331150, Chile
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Understanding the multiplicity of processes producing genetic patterns in natural populations can shed light on the ecology and evolution of species, and help guide effective management and conservation strategies. Here we investigated the role of environmental, demographic, and geographic factors in shaping the spatial patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation of the intertidal barnacle Notochthamalus scabrosus along the central-northern coast of Chile (28-34°S). We analyzed genetic data from 7 microsatellite loci genotyped for 300 individuals sampled from 10 sites and combined this information with 8 site-specific environmental (4), demographic (2), and geographic (2) variables using least squares linear regressions, generalized linear models, and matrix regression analyses. We found a strong association between the spatially structured genetic diversity of N. scabrosus and patterns of temporal variability in chlorophyll a, and among-site differences in seawater temperature and adult abundance. Our results illustrate that population size, partly driven by recruitment success, can leave a signal on genetic structure of this highly dispersive marine species. The significant effect of temperature and chlorophyll a stresses that local adaptation may be key to understanding the spatial genetic structure of our model species. Hence, the results of this work represent an advance towards understanding the usually complex causal relationships between environmental variables, gene flow, and genetic diversity patterns of coastal populations.


KEY WORDS: Notochthamalus scabrosus · Seascape genetics · Larval dispersal · Coastal oceanography · Marine connectivity


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Cite this article as: Barahona M, Broitman BR, Faugeron S, Jaugeon L, Ospina-Alvarez A, Véliz D, Navarrete SA (2019) Environmental and demographic factors influence the spatial genetic structure of an intertidal barnacle in central-northern Chile. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 612:151-165. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12855

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