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Allozyme Variation in a Snail (Littorina saxatilis)-Deconfounding the Effects of Microhabitat and Gene Flow

Kerstin Johannesson and Andrey Tatarenkov
Evolution
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 402-409
DOI: 10.2307/2411112
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2411112
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Allozyme Variation in a Snail (Littorina saxatilis)-Deconfounding the Effects of Microhabitat and Gene Flow
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Abstract

It is commonly observed that a restricted gene flow among populations of a species generates genetic differentiation in, for example, allozyme markers. However, recent studies suggest that microhabitat-specific variation may contribute to the total differentiation. To appreciate the relative contributions of geographic variation and habitat-specific variation, we sampled 42 subpopulations of the intertidal snail Littorina saxatilis from three different microhabitats (boulders, low and high rocky intertidal) on five small islands within a distance of 15 km. We used a modified orthogonal version of Nei's gene diversity analysis with a modified analysis of variance (ANOVA) that estimated the significance of habitat and geographic separation and the interaction between them. Between subpopulation differentiation (GST) was usually in the range of 5% to 10% but was exceptionally high in one locus (Aat; 53%). Genetic differentiation attributable to different habitats accounted for 10% to 81% (mean 35%) of the between subpopulation variation and was significant (P < 0.05) in six loci. Differentiation due to geographic separation accounted for 11% to 61% (mean 36%) and was significant (P < 0.05) in seven loci. Furthermore, three loci showed interactions between habitat and island, suggesting varying effects of habitat in different islands. Microhabitat-specific variation, probably through spatially varying fitness, seems particularly likely in Aat and Pgm-2. Moderate levels of habitat associated variation added to the observed differentiation due to gene flow in Pgi, Pnp, and Pgm-1, whereas in the remaining three loci either the habitat effect was confused by strong habitat-island interaction (Ark) or was virtually absent (Pep and Mpi).

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