Comparisons of genetic population structures in four intertidal brachyuran species of contrasting habitat characteristics
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Genetic population structures along the Japanese coast, analyzed by sequence data from the mitochondrial DNA COI region, were determined for four intertidal brachyuran species in the superfamily Thoracotremata (Ocypode ceratophthalma, Gaetice depressus, Chiromantes dehaani and Deiratonotus japonicus), which were characterized by different habitat requirements. O. ceratophthalma (seashore; supratidal sand) and C. dehaani (estuarine; supratidal marsh) showed no significant genetic differentiation among Japanese populations. The Japanese populations of O. ceratophthalma, however, were found to genetically differentiated from the Philippine population. G. depressus (seashore; intertidal cobbles) exhibited significant genetic differentiation between the Amami-Ohshima population and other local populations. D. japonicus (estuarine; intertidal cobbles) showed significant genetic differentiation among many local populations separated by about 30–1,200 km. The different patterns of genetic population structure recorded for the four species, thus, do not simply correspond to habitat type.
The authors are indebted to the following persons who kindly provided important comments: M. Ishimura, J. Kitaura, H. Sato, Y. Yusa and members of the Laboratory of Population and Community Ecology, Nara Women’s University. We also thank the following persons who provided important material for this study: Y. Fukui, A. Nomoto, S. Kimura, S. Yodo, T. Kishino and T. Watanabe. Reviews of the manuscript by G. Hardy and an anonymous referee are also acknowledged. This research was supported in part by the Sasagawa Scientific Research Grant from the Japan Science Society to M.K. and by the River Fund in charge of the Foundation of River and Watershed Environment Management, Japan, to K.W.
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