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Journal Article

Genetic Consequences of Passive Dispersal in Pond-Dwelling Copepods

Marc G. Boileau and Paul D. N. Hebert
Evolution
Vol. 45, No. 3 (May, 1991), pp. 721-733
DOI: 10.2307/2409923
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409923
Page Count: 13
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Genetic Consequences of Passive Dispersal in Pond-Dwelling Copepods
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Abstract

Pond-dwelling copepods have colonized habitats throughout North America after glaciers have receded. Most species are passively transported via resting eggs into new habitats. Colonists originating in a glacial refugium could lose some of the ancestral genetic diversity when they establish new populations and the attenuation may be substantial in populations far removed from the refugium due to multiple founder events. Genetic variation was measured in Heterocope septentrionalis from 27 populations at arctic sites near potential refugia and those more recently deglaciated to determine the effects of postglacial dispersal on patterns of genetic relatedness and diversity. Some populations were more distant, genetically, from others within the same site than those from other more distant sites. Eleven polymorphic enzyme loci were significantly more variable (F [1,294 df] = 5.94, P < 0.025) among individuals from populations near the Alaskan refuge than those at the eastern limit of their distribution. Because populations are typically extremely large and stable this loss of genetic diversity is attributed primarily to repeated founder events during colonization. This result suggests profound genetic changes may occur on a continental scale in passively dispersed copepods due to founder events alone. Their potential for divergence and speciation is greater than currently recognized.

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