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When gaps really are gaps: statistical phylogeography of hydrothermal vent invertebrates


Audzijonyte, A and Vrijenhoek, RC, When gaps really are gaps: statistical phylogeography of hydrothermal vent invertebrates, Evolution, 64, (8) pp. 2369-2384. ISSN 0014-3820 (2010) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation Copyright 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.00987.x


The invertebrate animals endemic to deep-sea hydrothermal vents are distributed intermittently along relatively linear oceanic ridge axes. A one-dimensional stepping-stone model, therefore, provides a reasonable starting hypothesis of population structure for these species. Nevertheless, population genetic studies of many species from eastern Pacific vents did not detect the expected signatures of isolation-by-distance (IBD). Instead, distinct patterns of geographical subdivision have been attributed to the unique dispersal modes of individual species, topographical discontinuities of the ridge axes, nonequilibrium metapopulation scenarios and cryptic species. Here, we reexamined these inferences in light of expectations generated by computer simulations of a one-dimensional stepping-stone model. We evaluated whether the previously inferred subdivisions are statistically robust to an alternative explanation that continuous stepping-stone migration has occurred along the ridge axes but discontinuities in the sampling design (gaps) have generated the apparent disjunctions. We found that previous inferences about barriers to gene flow (vicariance) were supported in many cases, but that failures to detect evidence for IBD could be explained by low statistical power associated with the sampling effort. The simulation approaches presented here might be useful for testing the significance of inferred phylogeographic gaps in other species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:computer simulations, hypothesis testing, geographical subdivision, isolation-by-distance, statistical phylogeography, stepping-stone model
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Biogeography and phylogeography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Audzijonyte, A (Dr Asta Audzijonyte)
ID Code:121148
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-09-12
Last Modified:2017-11-23

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