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Phylogeography of the intertidal copepod Tigriopus californicus reveals substantially reduced population differentiation at northern latitudes


Suzanne Edmands, Present address: Department of Biological Sciences, AHF 107, University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA 90089–0371, USA. Fax: 213–740–8123;


Previous studies of the intertidal copepod Tigriopus californicus revealed one of the highest levels of mitochondrial DNA differentiation ever reported among conspecific populations. The present study extends the geographical sampling northward, adding populations from northern California to south-east Alaska. The mitochondrial phylogeny for the entire species range, based on cytochrome oxidase I sequences for a total of 49 individuals from 27 populations, again shows extreme differentiation among populations (up to 23%). However, populations from Oregon northwards appear to be derived and have interpopulation divergences five times lower than those between southern populations. Furthermore, although few individuals were sequenced from each locality, populations from Puget Sound northward had significantly reduced levels of within-population variation. These patterns are hypothesized to result from the contraction and expansion of populations driven by recent ice ages.