Heterogeneity in genetic composition among recruits, mostly due to a large variance in reproductive success mediated by oceanographic processes, has been reported for marine species but is less understood in coastal lagoons' organisms. Temporal genetic variation in natural populations of the Mediterranean shore crab Carcinus aestuarii was quantified over a multi-year sample. A total of 486 adult crabs were collected at eight different sites of the Venice Lagoon during the period 2005–2007 and screened for genetic variation using 11 microsatellite loci. Two additional samples (N = 115) from neighbouring sites, located approximately 100 km North and South to the Venice Lagoon, were included for the sake of comparison. Our results show significant differences in allelic frequencies at the micro-geographic scale of the Venice Lagoon, observed between sites of collection, typologies of habitat, and areas with different class of ecological risk or pattern of hemocyanin expression. However, this pattern was not constant between years, with significant differences observed mainly in 2005 and 2006, but not in 2007. Our results indicate significant temporal differences suggesting the existence of dynamic processes that act on the genetic pool of this species. Although natural selection and gene flow might play a role, we suggest that genetic drift linked to large variation in the reproductive success of individuals is the most probable scenario to explain the local genetic patterns of differentiation in the Mediterranean shore crab. Our study, by providing the first evidence for the existence of genetic differences in this species at the micro-geographic scale, suggests that a better comprehension of the link between reproduction, recruitment and oceanography is critical to understand how colonization and maintenance of genetic variation is achieved in ephemeral and vulnerable environments such as coastal lagoons.

Genetic heterogeneity in populations of the Mediterranean shore crab, Carcinus aestuarii (Decapoda, Portunidae), from the Venice Lagoon.

MARINO, ILARIA ANNA MARIA;BARBISAN, FEDERICA;GIOMI, FOLCO;BELTRAMINI, MARIANO;BISOL, PAOLO MARIA;ZANE, LORENZO
2010

Abstract

Heterogeneity in genetic composition among recruits, mostly due to a large variance in reproductive success mediated by oceanographic processes, has been reported for marine species but is less understood in coastal lagoons' organisms. Temporal genetic variation in natural populations of the Mediterranean shore crab Carcinus aestuarii was quantified over a multi-year sample. A total of 486 adult crabs were collected at eight different sites of the Venice Lagoon during the period 2005–2007 and screened for genetic variation using 11 microsatellite loci. Two additional samples (N = 115) from neighbouring sites, located approximately 100 km North and South to the Venice Lagoon, were included for the sake of comparison. Our results show significant differences in allelic frequencies at the micro-geographic scale of the Venice Lagoon, observed between sites of collection, typologies of habitat, and areas with different class of ecological risk or pattern of hemocyanin expression. However, this pattern was not constant between years, with significant differences observed mainly in 2005 and 2006, but not in 2007. Our results indicate significant temporal differences suggesting the existence of dynamic processes that act on the genetic pool of this species. Although natural selection and gene flow might play a role, we suggest that genetic drift linked to large variation in the reproductive success of individuals is the most probable scenario to explain the local genetic patterns of differentiation in the Mediterranean shore crab. Our study, by providing the first evidence for the existence of genetic differences in this species at the micro-geographic scale, suggests that a better comprehension of the link between reproduction, recruitment and oceanography is critical to understand how colonization and maintenance of genetic variation is achieved in ephemeral and vulnerable environments such as coastal lagoons.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2453511
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 19
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 21
social impact