Impacts of marine biogeographic boundaries on phylogeographic patterns of three South African estuarine crustaceans

Peter R. Teske, Christopher D. McQuaid, P. William Froneman, Nigel P. Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


The South African coastline comprises 3 main biogeographic provinces: (1) the cool-temperate west coast, (2) the warm-temperate south coast, and (3) the subtropical east coast. The boundaries between these regions are defined by changes in species compositions and hydrological conditions. It is possible that these affect phylogeographic patterns of coastal organisms differently, depending on the species' ecologies and modes of dispersal. In the present study, genealogies of 3 estuarine crustaceans, each characterized by a different mode of passive dispersal and present in more than one biogeographic province, were reconstructed using mtDNA COI sequences, and the impacts of biogeographic boundaries on their phylogeographic patterns were compared. The species were (mode of dispersal in brackets): (1) the mudprawn Upogebia africana (planktonic larvae), (2) the isopod Exosphaeroma hylecoetes (adult rafting), and (3) the cumacean Iphinoe truncata (adult drifting). Two major mtDNA lineages with slightly overlapping distributions were identified in U. africana (the species with the highest dispersal potential). The other 2 species had 3 mtDNA lineages each, which were characterized by strict geographic segregation. Phylogeographic breaks in U. africana and E. hylecoetes coincided with biogeographic boundaries, whereas the phylogeographic patterns identified in I. truncata may reflect persistent palaeogeographic patterns. Ecological factors and modes of dispersal are likely to have played a role in both cladogenesis of the different lineages and in the establishment of their present-day distribution patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-293
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Ecology - Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Isolation by distance
  • Mode of dispersal
  • Parapatry
  • Planktonic larvae
  • Rafting
  • mtDNA cytochrome oxidase I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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