Marine Biology

, Volume 149, Issue 6, pp 1463–1475 | Cite as

Seamount endemism questioned by the geographic distribution and population genetic structure of marine invertebrates

  • Sarah Samadi
  • Lionel Bottan
  • Enrique Macpherson
  • Bertrand Richer De Forges
  • Marie-Catherine Boisselier
Research Article


Previous studies have suggested that the high diversity associated with the Norfolk seamounts (Southwest Pacific) could reflect endemism resulting from limited dispersal due to hydrological phenomena. Crustaceans of the family Galatheidae are thoroughly studied in the New Caledonia economic zone permitting the analysis of species distribution pattern between the New Caledonia slope and Norfolk ridge seamounts. This analysis has shown that, qualitatively, the same species are sampled on seamounts and on the New Caledonia slope. Local endemism was never detected. However, on each seamount, and therefore on a small surface, a very high number of species are usually sampled, suggesting that seamounts are biodiversity hot spots. Then, to evaluate whether the seamounts constitute patches of isolated habitat, we explore the pattern of genetic diversity within several species of crustaceans and gastropods. Analysis of the intra-specific genetic structure using the mitochondrial marker COI reveals that populations of two Galatheidae species (Munida thoe and Munida zebra), polymorphic for this marker, are genetically not structured, both among seamounts and between the seamounts and the island slope. The genetic structure over a similar sampling scheme of two Eumunida species (Chirostylidae, the sister family of Galatheidae) and a planktotrophic gastropod (Sassia remensa) reveals a similar pattern. Population structure is observed only in Nassaria problematica, a non-planktotrophic gastropod with limited larvae dispersal. Thus, the limitation of gene flow between seamounts appears to be observed only for species with limited dispersal abilities. Our results suggest that the Norfolk seamounts rather than functioning as areas of endemism, instead, may be highly productive zones that can support numerous species in small areas.


Continental Slope Gastropod Species Island Slope Hydrological Phenomenon Squat Lobster 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to the crew of R/V Alis and the technical support of the IRD at Nouméa; the staff of the “Service de Systématique Moléculaire” at the MNHN for technical facilities; Philippe Bouchet, Pierre Lozouet, and Alan Beu for the identification of gastropod specimen; Alain Crosnier for providing access to the MNHN crustacean collection; Simon Tillier for constructive comments and discussion on the manuscript; Porter P. Lowry for English improvement of the manuscript; Robin Wapples for comments on a previous version of this manuscript. The experiments complied with the current laws of France.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Samadi
    • 1
  • Lionel Bottan
    • 1
  • Enrique Macpherson
    • 2
  • Bertrand Richer De Forges
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marie-Catherine Boisselier
    • 1
  1. 1.“Systématique, Adaptation et Evolution”, UR IRD 148 /UMR 7138 UPMC; IRD; MNHN; CNRS, Service de systématique moléculaire (CNRS, IFR101), Département Systématique et EvolutionMuséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParis Cedex 05France
  2. 2.Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Blanes (CSIC)Blanes, GironaSpain
  3. 3.“Systématique, Adaptation et Evolution”, UMR 7138 UPMC-IRD-MNHN-CNRS (UR IRD 148)Institut de Recherche pour le DéveloppementNouvelle-CalédonieFrance

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