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Isolation mediates persistent founder effects on zooplankton colonisation in new temporary ponds

AuthorsBadosa, Anna ; Frisch, Dagmar ; Green, Andy J. ; Rico, Ciro ; Gómez, África
Issue Date2017
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationScientific Reports 7: :43983 (2017)
AbstractUnderstanding the colonisation process in zooplankton is crucial for successful restoration of aquatic ecosystems. Here, we analyzed the clonal and genetic structure of the cyclical parthenogenetic rotifer Brachionus plicatilis by following populations established in new temporary ponds during the first three hydroperiods. Rotifer populations established rapidly after first flooding, although colonisation was ongoing throughout the study. Multilocus genotypes from 7 microsatellite loci suggested that most populations (10 of 14) were founded by few clones. The exception was one of the four populations that persisted throughout the studied hydroperiods, where high genetic diversity in the first hydroperiod suggested colonisation from a historical egg bank, and no increase in allelic diversity was detected with time. In contrast, in another of these four populations, we observed a progressive increase of allelic diversity. This population became less differentiated from the other populations suggesting effective gene flow soon after its foundation. Allelic diversity and richness remained low in the remaining two, more isolated, populations, suggesting little gene flow. Our results highlight the complexity of colonisation dynamics, with evidence for persistent founder effects in some ponds, but not in others, and with early immigration both from external source populations, and from residual, historical diapausing egg banks.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/srep43983
issn: 2045-2322
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