Colonization, dispersal, and hybridization influence phylogeography of North Atlantic sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis).Evolution. 2005 Mar; 59(3):532-43.E
We used frequency-based and coalescent-based phylogeographic analysis of sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and previously published microsatellite data to understand the relative influence of colonization and gene flow from older (north Pacific) and younger (northeast Atlantic) sea urchin populations on genetic variation in the northwest Atlantic. We found strong evidence of survival of northwestern Atlantic populations in local Pleistocene glacial refugia: most haplotypes were the same as or closely related to Pacific haplotypes, with deep gene genealogies that reflect divergence times within the northwestern Atlantic that are much older than the last glacial maximum. We detected gene flow across the North Atlantic in the form of haplotypes shared with or recently descended from European populations. We also found evidence of significant introgression of haplotypes from a closely related species (S. pallidus). The relative magnitude of gene flow estimated by coalescent methods (and the effective population size differences among oceanic regions) depended on the genetic marker used. In general, we found very small effective population size in the northeastern Atlantic and high trans-Arctic gene flow between the Pacific and northwestern Atlantic. Both analyses suggested significant back-migration to the Pacific. However, microsatellites more strongly reflected older Pacific migration (with similar effective population sizes across the Arctic), whereas mtDNA sequences appeared to be more sensitive to recent trans- Atlantic dispersal (with larger differences in effective population size). These differences across marker types might have several biological or methodological causes, and they suggest caution in interpretation of the results from a single locus or class of markers.