Marine Biology

, Volume 148, Issue 5, pp 1051–1060 | Cite as

Population genetic structure of the prosobranch Nassarius reticulatus (L.) in a ria seascape (NW Iberian Peninsula) as revealed by RAPD analysis

  • Rodolfo BarreiroEmail author
  • Lucia Couceiro
  • María Quintela
  • José Miguel Ruiz
Research Article


Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) banding patterns were compared between samples of the netted dogwhelk Nassarius reticulatus from 11 locations along the NW Iberian Peninsula coast. To detect if rias (estuaries formed by drowned river valleys) might promote genetic differentiation, five sampling sites were located within a ria (ria of Muros) and the remaining six were scattered along open-coast areas at increasing distances from the ria mouth. Population differentiation statistics (Φ-values) were estimated using a hierarchical analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) with samples sorted into two groups: open-coast and ria populations. Despite a high potential to disperse, AMOVA demonstrated a modest, statistically significant genetic heterogeneity among N. reticulatus populations. Most of the genetic structure resided in differences among open-coast populations; ria populations were genetically homogeneous. No obvious geographical pattern was detected for the pairwise genetic distances (non-metric multidimensional scaling; UPGMA tree; Mantel test). Unlike previous studies with other species at a variety of estuarine systems other than rias, there was no evidence that the ria of Muros may enhance the genetic divergence of N. reticulatus populations. This discrepancy is discussed in relation to the biological features of the species (high dispersal potential and a preference for mid-low estuarine habitat) and the strong hydrographic connectivity between ria and neighbouring off-shore waters.


Genetic Differentiation Restrict Gene Flow Larval Retention North Atlantic Central Water Nassarius Reticulatus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Funding for this work was provided by the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología grant REN2001-0899 (partially co-funded by FEDER, Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional) and the Xunta de Galicia grant PGIDT01MAM10301PR. We acknowledge a postgraduate fellowship to L.C. from the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (AP2002-0928).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodolfo Barreiro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lucia Couceiro
    • 1
  • María Quintela
    • 1
  • José Miguel Ruiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Área de Ecología, Facultad de CienciasUniversidade da CoruñaA CoruñaSpain

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