, Volume 143, Issue 2, pp 339-350
Date: 14 May 2003

Phylogeography of Cerastoderma glaucum (Bivalvia: Cardiidae) across Europe: a major break in the Eastern Mediterranean

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Abstract

Molecular variation of the lagoon cockle Cerastoderma glaucum (Poiret, 1789) was examined across the species range along European coasts, from the northern Baltic to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. A major phylogeographic break in mitochondrial COI gene sequences (divergence 6.2%) separated a group of Ponto-Caspian and Aegean Sea haplotypes from those to the west of the Peloponnese peninsula in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic-Baltic sector. A similar subdivision, yet not entirely geographically coincident, was found at 16 allozyme loci (Nei's distance D=0.15). The results imply a long-term isolation of populations in parts of the Eastern Mediterranean or Black Sea basins through the Pleistocene. The subdivision does not concur with previous views on the systematics of C. glaucum complex, but the pattern is notably similar to that described earlier from some fish species. Marked phylogeographic structuring was also found at lower level within the major Mediterranean-Atlantic phylogroup of C. glaucum, which was divided into six regional or local haplotype subgroups. Divergence of these groups may date back one or several major Pleistocene climatic cycles. Local mtDNA diversity was particularly high in a sample from the Ionian Sea, whose mitochondrial identity was of the Mediterranean-Atlantic type, while its nuclear characters were more strongly associated with the Ponto-Caspian type. Patterns of shallower, star-phylogeny type diversity within the Ponto-Caspian phylogroup and in the Baltic Sea area may represent more recent, post-glacial generation of variation.

Communicated by L. Hagerman, Helsingør