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Founder effects drive the genetic structure of passively dispersed aquatic invertebrates

Montero-Pau, Javier; Gomez, Africa; Serra, Manuel


Javier Montero-Pau

Manuel Serra


Populations of passively dispersed organisms in continental aquatic habitats typically show high levels of neutral genetic differentiation despite their high dispersal capabilities. Several evolutionary factors, including founder events, local adaptation, and life cycle features such as high population growth rates and the presence of propagule banks, have been proposed to be responsible for this paradox. Here, we have modeled the colonization process to assess the impact of migration rate, population growth rate, population size, local adaptation and life-cycle features on the population genetic structure in these organisms. Our simulations show that the strongest effect on population structure are persistent founder effects, resulting from the interaction of a few population founders, high population growth rates, large population sizes and the presence of diapausing egg banks. In contrast, the role of local adaptation, genetic hitchhiking and migration is limited to small populations in these organisms. Our results indicate that local adaptation could have different impact on genetic structure in different groups of zooplankters.


Montero-Pau, J., Gomez, A., & Serra, M. (2018). Founder effects drive the genetic structure of passively dispersed aquatic invertebrates. PeerJ, 6(12), Article e6094.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 10, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 11, 2018
Publication Date Dec 11, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2018
Electronic ISSN 2167-8359
Publisher PeerJ
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 12
Article Number e6094
Keywords Migration; Local adaptation; Genetic differentiation; Rotifera; Zooplankton; Cladocera
Public URL
Publisher URL


Article (460 Kb)

Copyright Statement
&copy; 2018 Montero-Pau et al.<br /> Licence<br /> This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

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