Lithophyllum byssoides is a common coralline alga in the intertidal zone of Mediterranean coasts, where it produces biogenic concretions housing a high algal and invertebrate biodiversity. This species is an ecosystem engineer and is considered a target for conservation efforts, but designing effective conservation strategies currently is impossible due to lack of information about its population structure. The morphological and molecular variation of L. byssoides was investigated using morpho-anatomy and DNA sequences (psbA and cox2,3) obtained from populations at 15 localities on the Italian and Croatian coasts. Lithophyllum byssoides exhibited a high number of haplotypes (31 psbA haplotypes and 24 cox2,3 haplotypes) in the central Mediterranean. The psbA and cox2,3 phylogenies were congruent and showed 7 lineages. For most of these clades the distribution was limited to one or a few localities, but one of them (clade 7) was widespread across the central Mediterranean, spanning the main biogeographic boundaries recognized in this area. The central Mediterranean populations formed a lineage separate from Atlantic samples; psbA pairwise divergences suggest that recognition of Atlantic and Mediterranean L. byssoides as different species may be appropriate. The central Mediterranean haplotype patterns of L. byssoides are interpreted as resulting from past climatic events in the hydrogeological history of the Mediterranean Sea. The high haplotype diversity and the restricted spatial distribution of the seven lineages suggest that individual populations should be managed as independent units.

Genetic and morphological variation in an ecosystem engineer, Lithophyllum byssoides (Corallinales, Rhodophyta)

FALACE, Annalisa;KALEB, SARA;
2017

Abstract

Lithophyllum byssoides is a common coralline alga in the intertidal zone of Mediterranean coasts, where it produces biogenic concretions housing a high algal and invertebrate biodiversity. This species is an ecosystem engineer and is considered a target for conservation efforts, but designing effective conservation strategies currently is impossible due to lack of information about its population structure. The morphological and molecular variation of L. byssoides was investigated using morpho-anatomy and DNA sequences (psbA and cox2,3) obtained from populations at 15 localities on the Italian and Croatian coasts. Lithophyllum byssoides exhibited a high number of haplotypes (31 psbA haplotypes and 24 cox2,3 haplotypes) in the central Mediterranean. The psbA and cox2,3 phylogenies were congruent and showed 7 lineages. For most of these clades the distribution was limited to one or a few localities, but one of them (clade 7) was widespread across the central Mediterranean, spanning the main biogeographic boundaries recognized in this area. The central Mediterranean populations formed a lineage separate from Atlantic samples; psbA pairwise divergences suggest that recognition of Atlantic and Mediterranean L. byssoides as different species may be appropriate. The central Mediterranean haplotype patterns of L. byssoides are interpreted as resulting from past climatic events in the hydrogeological history of the Mediterranean Sea. The high haplotype diversity and the restricted spatial distribution of the seven lineages suggest that individual populations should be managed as independent units.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2885418
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