Genetic vs community diversity patterns of macrobenthic species: preliminary results from the lagoonal ecosystem


1 - The use of molecular data derived from multispecies assemblages in order to test ecological theory has only recently been introduced in the scientific literature.2 - As a first step, we compared patterns of abiotic environment, polychaeta distribution and their genetic diversity in five lagoon ecosystems in Greece. Our results confirm the hypothesis that higher genetic diversity is expected in the populations of the species occurring in the transitional waters rather than of those occurring in the marine environment.3 - Patterns derived from the polychaete community level and from the mitochondrial DNA (16S rRNA) obtained from Nephtys hombergii and Hediste diversicolor showed convergence, indicating the potential use of molecular matrices as surrogates in community analysis.4 - Finally, the high correlation between the genetic diversity pattern of H. diversicolor and the phosphorus concentration in the sediments may imply the broadening of the hierarchic-response-tostress hypothesis towards lower than species level.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i1825229Xv6n2p20

Keywords: Biodiversity; hierarchic-response-to-stress hypothesis; Hediste diversicolor; Nephtys hombergii; 16S rRNA; Amvrakikos Gulf; W Greece

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