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Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 11, pp 2313–2323 | Cite as

Lower genetic diversity in the limpet Patella caerulea on urban coastal structures compared to natural rocky habitats

  • Cécile FauvelotEmail author
  • Francesca Bertozzi
  • Federica Costantini
  • Laura Airoldi
  • Marco Abbiati
Original Paper

Abstract

Human-made structures are increasingly found in marine coastal habitats. The aim of the present study was to explore whether urban coastal structures can affect the genetic variation of hard-bottom species. We conducted a population genetic analysis on the limpet Patella caerulea sampled in both natural and artificial habitats along the Adriatic coast. Five microsatellite loci were used to test for differences in genetic diversity and structure among samples. Three microsatellite loci showed strong Hardy–Weinberg disequilibrium likely linked with the presence of null alleles. Genetic diversity was significantly higher in natural habitat than in artificial habitat. A weak but significant differentiation over all limpet samples was observed, but not related to the type of habitat. While the exact causes of the differences in genetic diversity deserve further investigation, these results clearly point that the expansion of urban structures can lead to genetic diversity loss at regional scales.

Keywords

Null Allele Allelic Richness Artificial Structure Heterozygote Deficiency Null Allele Frequency 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the EU projects DELOS (EVK3-CT-2000-00041) and EUMAR (EVK3CT2001-00048) and by the project MedRed (Bilateral Projects Italy–Israel, Italian Ministry of the Environment). We thank F. Bacchiocchi, C. Papetti, and M. Virgilio for help at various stages of the work. We are grateful to M. Coleman and anonymous reviewers whose comments greatly improved this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cécile Fauvelot
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Francesca Bertozzi
    • 1
  • Federica Costantini
    • 1
  • Laura Airoldi
    • 1
  • Marco Abbiati
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica Sperimentale, Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze AmbientaliUniversity of BolognaRavennaItaly
  2. 2.Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UR128, Centre de Biologie et d’Ecologie Tropicale et MéditerranéenneUniversité de PerpignanPerpignan CedexFrance

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