Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 865–877

Multiscale Diversity in the Marshes of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER


    • Department of GeneticsUniversity of Georgia
  • Edgardo Diaz-Ferguson
    • Department of GeneticsUniversity of Georgia
    • Department of ZoologyUniversity of Florida
  • Monica F. Poelchau
    • Department of GeneticsUniversity of Georgia
  • Steven Pennings
    • Department of Biology and BiochemistryUniversity of Houston
  • Thomas Dale Bishop
    • Department of Marine SciencesUniversity of Georgia
  • John Wares
    • Department of GeneticsUniversity of Georgia

DOI: 10.1007/s12237-009-9188-2

Cite this article as:
Robinson, J.D., Diaz-Ferguson, E., Poelchau, M.F. et al. Estuaries and Coasts (2010) 33: 865. doi:10.1007/s12237-009-9188-2


Factors that maintain genetic and species diversity may act in concert in natural ecosystems. Here, we investigate correlations between genetic diversity (in eight salt marsh species) and community species diversity. A significant positive correlation existed between genetic diversity and species richness, although the relationship was not significant for any species individually. Nonetheless, four of the eight comparisons showed strong positive relationships between genetic and species diversity. Additionally, several abiotic variables were used in a model selection procedure to determine what site-level characteristics might drive differences in genetic diversity in this system. The rate of larval influx, as measured by barnacle abundance on Spartina alterniflora, was the strongest predictor of site-level genetic diversity in our samples. Our results suggest that estuarine management efforts should consider recruitment rates when selecting areas for protection.


Genetic diversitySpecies–genetic diversity correlationSGDCSalt marshGCE-LTERSettlement rate

Supplementary material

12237_2009_9188_MOESM1_ESM.doc (32 kb)
Supplementary Table 1PCR conditions and primer sequences modified from Sloop et al. 2006. (DOC 31 kb)
12237_2009_9188_MOESM2_ESM.doc (32 kb)
Supplementary Table 2Observed (Ho) and expected (He) heterozygosity, the inbreeding coefficient (F), the multilocus probability of identity (PI), and Simpson’s index (D) for sites where S. alterniflora was sampled for genetic diversity. (DOC 31 kb)

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2009