Patterns of genetic diversity and structure in antarctic and subantarctic Nacella (Nacellidae) species
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González-Wevar, C. A., Hune, M., Rosenfeld, S., Gerard, K., Mansilla, A., & Poulin, E. (2016). Patterns of genetic diversity and structure in antarctic and subantarctic Nacella (Nacellidae) species. Anales Del Instituto De La Patagonia, 44(3), 49–64. Retrieved from


The biogeography of the Southern Ocean is the result of the complex interaction of different macroevolutionary forces over its particular biota in space and time. Plate tectonics processes derived in the separation of the continents, together with the establishment of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the gradual cooling of the region since the Eocene, are directly associated to the composition, abundance, and distribution of its marine benthic fauna. More recently, glacial processes of the Quaternary strongly impacted the distribution of the intraspecific genetic variation in different taxa. The genus Nacella (Patellogastropoda: Nacellidae) includes 11 nominal species that are distributed in different provinces of the Southern Ocean. In this study, we compared mitochondrial DNA patterns of genetic diversity and structure in four Nacella species from maritime Antarctica (Nacella concinna), South America (Nacella magellanica), and two islands located in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean: Kerguelen (Nacella edgari), and Marion (Nacella delesserti). Low levels of genetic diversity and absence of genetic structure characterize each one of the analyzed species showing the major impact of ice advances and retreats over the species’ demographies. Low haplotypic diversity, short genealogies and specific demographies suggest the occurrence of more severe population effects in maritime Antarctica and Marion Island than in the rest of the subantarctic provinces.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Claudio A. González-Wevar, Matias Hune, Sebastian Rosenfeld, Karin Gerard, Andrés Mansilla, Elie Poulin


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