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ISSN: 2329-9002

Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology
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Research Article

Genetic Structure and Effective Population Size through Time: A Tale on Two Coastal Marine Species with Contrasting Life-History Patterns

Sara M Francisco* and Joana I Robalo
MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, ISPA Instituto Universitário, Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34, 1149-041 Lisboa, Portugal
Corresponding Author : Sara M Francisco
Post-doctoral fellow
MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre
ISPA Instituto Universitário
Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34
1149-041 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: +351 218811700
Fax: +351 218860954
E-mail: [email protected] ispa.pt
Received: June 30, 2015 Accepted: July 24, 2015 Published: July 30, 2015
Citation: Francisco SM, Robalo JI (2015) Genetic Structure and Effective Population Size through Time: A Tale on Two Coastal Marine Species with Contrasting Life-History Patterns. J Phylogen Evolution Biol 3:155. doi:10.4172/2329-9002.1000155
Copyright: © 2015 Francisco SM et al . This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Background: Species with planktonic larvae are more likely to show temporal genetic variation, due to differences in larval mortality and dispersal ability. The shanny Lipophrys pholis is a typical benthic rocky intertidal fish with its dispersion limited to a long larval stage. In contrast, the sand smelt Atherina presbyter has a very short planktonic life, small size and weak swimming capabilities, which translates into reduced dispersion potential.

Methods: A total of 226 shanny specimens (collected in 2003, 2013 and 2014) and 281 sand smelts (collected in 2005, 2012, 2013 and 2014) were screened for genetic variation using the mitochondrial control region. Genealogies, genetic diversities, temporal structures and contemporary effective population sizes were assessed.

Results: Haplotype networks showed deep genealogies with multiple levels of diversification and no temporal structure. Genetic diversity indices showed little variation among sampling periods and were generally high. For L. pholis significant genetic differentiation was detected between 2013 and 2014, while no significant differences were detected between sampling periods in A. presbyter. The shanny showed lower effective population size per generation when compared to the sand smelt (which yielded lack of evidence for genetic drift for the first two periods of the study).

Conclusion: These results highlight the fact that temporal changes in the gene pool composition need to be considered when evaluating population structure, especially for species with long pelagic larval dispersion, more vulnerable to fluctuations in the recruitment.

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