Deep segregation in the open ocean: Macaronesia as an evolutionary hotspot for low dispersal marine invertebrates

andrea.desiderato [ at ]


Diversification and speciation of terrestrial organisms are anticipated in oceanic islands such as Macaronesia, a group of Atlantic islands that have remained unconnected to continental landmasses. Hitherto, the diversification of marine organisms in oceanic islands, especially those with low vagility, has received little direct empirical analysis using molecular markers. Here, we focus on such a case study, through applying a multilocus molecular approach to investigate the diversity and evolution of a group that lacks a planktonic larval stage, the isopod genus Dynamene, in Macaronesia and Northeast Atlantic. Sequences of two mitochondrial (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and 16S rRNA) and two nuclear (18S rRNA and 28S rRNA) loci were obtained from specimens of Dynamene edwardsi (Lucas, 1849), Dynamene magnitorata Holdich, 1968 and Dynamene bidentata (Adams, 1800) collected along the Northeast Atlantic and Macaronesia. Although no major phylogeographic structure was detected in D. bidentata and D. magnitorata, from five to nine deeply divergent lineages were evident within D. edwardsi. The divergent lineages displayed genetic distances comparable to those found among established species of peracarids. D. edwardsi exhibits a long, rich and complex phylogeographic history in Macaronesia, where the geodynamics of the islands possibly associated with founder effects and subsequent lack of gene flow among populations confounds patterns based on geographic proximity of targeted populations. Our findings collectively suggest a much larger role of oceanic islands in the diversification of marine invertebrates than previously anticipated. The work provides insights into the origins and dynamics of ongoing geographic segregation and associated deep divergence among sister evolutionary lineages in Macaronesia.

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Primary Division
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Peer revision
ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Eprint ID
DOI 10.1111/mec.15052

Cite as
Vieira, P. E. , Desiderato, A. , Holdich, D. M. , Soares, P. , Creer, S. , Carvalho, G. R. , Costa, F. O. and Queiroga, H. (2019): Deep segregation in the open ocean: Macaronesia as an evolutionary hotspot for low dispersal marine invertebrates , Molecular Ecology, 28 (7), pp. 1784-1800 . doi: 10.1111/mec.15052



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