Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 5, pp 1021–1028 | Cite as

Phylogeography of the seaweed Ishige okamurae (Phaeophyceae): evidence for glacial refugia in the northwest Pacific region

  • Kyung Min Lee
  • Eun Chan Yang
  • James A. Coyer
  • Giuseppe C. Zuccarello
  • Wei-Lui Wang
  • Chang Geun Choi
  • Sung Min Boo
Original Paper


Although benthic marine algae are essential components of marine coastal systems that have been influenced profoundly by past and present climate change, our knowledge of seaweed phylogeography is limited. The brown alga Ishige okamurae Yendo occurs in the northwest Pacific, where it occupies a characteristic belt in the exposed intertidal zone. To understand the patterns of genetic diversity and the evolutionary history of this species, we analyzed mitochondrial cox3 from 14 populations (221 individuals) throughout its range. The 17 haplotypes found in this study formed five distinct clades, indicating significant genetic structure. The high differentiation and number of unique (private) haplotypes may result from the recolonization of the species from glacial refugia. Three putative refugia, each with high genetic diversity, were identified: southern Korea (including Jeju Island), northern Taiwan, and central Pacific Japan. Recolonization of I. okamurae was probably determined by ocean currents and changes in sea level during the last glacial period.


Kuroshio Current Mismatch Distribution Glacial Refugium Benthic Marine Alga Oceanographic Regime 
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.



This study was supported by a Korean Research Foundation (KRF) grant (MEST; 2009-0077972) and a grant from Marine Biotechnology Program funded by Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs of Korean government. We thank Gong Soo Chung, Youn Ho Lee, Dong Jin Lee, and Min Hur for their useful advice on paleogeography of the Korean peninsula, Paul John Geraldino and Ga Hun Boo for collections from Japan, and Put O. Ang, and Song Qin and Yang Rui for help in collections in Hong Kong and China, respectively.

Supplementary material

227_2012_1882_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 24 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyung Min Lee
    • 1
  • Eun Chan Yang
    • 1
  • James A. Coyer
    • 2
  • Giuseppe C. Zuccarello
    • 3
  • Wei-Lui Wang
    • 4
  • Chang Geun Choi
    • 5
  • Sung Min Boo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyChungnam National UniversityDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Marine Benthic Ecology and Evolution, Center for Ecological and Evolutionary StudiesUniversity of GroningenAG GroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  4. 4.Department of BiologyNational Changhua University of EducationChanghuaTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Ecological EngineeringPukyong National UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea

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