Phylogeography of the Sardines (Sardinops Spp.) : Assessing Biogeographic Models and Population Histories in Temperate Upwelling Zones
Bowen, B.W.; Grant, W.S.
Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution 51(5): 1601-1610
Sardines (Sardinops spp.) occupy temperate upwelling zones in the coastal regions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, including locations in Japan, California, Chile, Australia, and South Africa. East and West Pacific populations are separated by vast expanses of open ocean, and northern and southern hemisphere populations are separated by tropical waters which are lethal to sardines. The relative importance of these barriers has been the focus of a longstanding debate between vicariance and dispersal schools in biogeography. Comparisons of a 500 bp fragment of the mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region reveal strong geographic structuring of mtDNA lineages but shallow divergence both within and between regional populations. Regional populations are related to one another in a stepping-stone pattern, the apparent result of a series of Pleistocene dispersal events around the continental margins of the Indian-Pacific Basin. These mtDNA data, combined with an electrophoretic survey of variability at 34 nuclear loci (Grant and Leslie 1996), indicate that the five regional forms of Sardinops (considered separate taxa by most authorities) probably diverged within 500,000 years BP, a much shorter timeframe than predicted by vicariance models based on plate tectonics. High mtDNA haplotype diversity, coupled with an excess of rare alleles in the protein electrophoretic dataset, may indicate exponential growth from a small ancestral population. The mtDNA and allozyme data are concordant with climate records and fossil evidence in portraying regional populations as recent, unstable, and ephemeral. Regional populations of sardines have probably been extinguished and recolonized over short evolutionary timescales in response to changes in climate and the oceanography of coastal upwelling zones.