Recent history of the European Nassarius nitidus (Gastropoda): phylogeographic evidence of glacial refugia and colonization pathways
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Because marine species respond differentially to factors governing survival and gene flow, closely related taxa may display dissimilar phylogeographic histories. New data for the patchily distributed gastropod Nassarius nitidus throughout its Atlantic–Mediterranean range (collected during 2008 and 2009) were used to investigate its phylogeography and recent demography. Results based on mitochondrial COI sequences of 422 N. nitidus individuals from 15 localities revealed contrasting phylogeographic and demographic patterns among N. nitidus populations from each basin. Data suggest the existence of two glacial refugia, one in the Atlantic, around the Iberian Peninsula, and the other in the Paleo-Mediterranean Sea (Adriatic). Bayesian skyline reconstructions suggest that the Adriatic population of N. nitidus remained largely unaffected by the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), whereas the Iberian Atlantic region experienced dramatic exponential growth after its conclusion. Contemporary North Sea populations of N. nitidus are the endpoint of a leading-edge recolonization process from a southern position. Additionally, a reanalysis of pre-existing material for the continuously distributed close congener N. reticulatus was used to compare both species in the late histories. In contrast to N. nitidus, N. reticulatus prospered during the LGM and experienced an earlier Atlantic expansion during the previous interglacial period. Despite similar life history and dispersal potential, the results here presented suggest that subtle differences in microhabitat requirements between the two species have had important consequences for their particular distribution in response to glacial events.