Post-pleistocene demographic history of the North Atlantic endemic Irish moss Chondrus crispus: glacial survival, spatial expansion and gene flow.J Evol Biol. 2011 Mar; 24(3):505-17.JE
Range expansions and gene flow as micro-evolutionary processes played a leading role in the population demographic history of marine organisms. Herein, we sequenced partial mtDNA Cox1 gene from 26 assigned geographical populations to understand how Irish moss (Chondrus crispus) responded to severe climatic oscillations during the Pleistocene glaciations and contemporary forces such as gene flow. Phylogeographic patterns indicated that haplotype frequency distributions were strongly skewed, with nearly half found only in single samples and thus restricted to a single population. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that most of the variation was within populations with no significant genetic structuring on either side of the Atlantic. Demographic analyses indicated that ISI (Irish Sea and Ireland) and NS (the North Sea) areas experienced a slight trend of increase in population size over time, whereas EC (the English Channel) area experienced expansion beginning approximately 170,000-360,000 BP. The observed complex genetic pattern of C. crispus is consistent with a scenario of multiple unrelated founding events by survival of this species in at least three putative Pleistocene refugia along the European coastline, and subsequent trans-Atlantic dispersal combined with contiguous northward population expansion predating the LGM and geographically gene flow.