Genetic structure, phylogeography, and demography of Anadara tuberculosa (Bivalvia) from East Pacific as revealed by mtDNA: Implications to conservation

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Izquierdo-Horna L.
Kahhat R.
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John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Wild populations of the pustulose ark, Anadara tuberculosa (Bivalvia), an emblematic species of the East Pacific mangrove ecosystem declined in South American countries (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) mainly due to overharvesting and habitat loss or degradation. Understanding the genetic aspects of geographic variations and population structure of A. tuberculosa, currently unknown, appears as a priority to fishery authorities in order to elaborate integrated and collaborative conservation policies for fishery management, aquaculture, and stock enhancement programs. We used mtDNA sequence data to investigate haplotype diversity, genetic structure, and demography of A. tuberculosa. Results indicate genetic homogeneity of populations distributed north and south of the equator, respectively. However, statistically significant differentiation emerged between northern and southern populations with pairwise фST values ranging between 0.036 and 0.092. The oceanic current system acting in the area (Panama Current and Humboldt Current) might play a role in limiting the larval dispersal of the species, still poorly understood. Demography reconstruction supported recent population expansion, possibly started after last glacial maximum. Our results would suggest separate and independent management of populations north and south of the equator.
Results presented in this research were partially funded by the NGO Hivos (Ecuador), the Subsecretaría de Acuacultura—MAGAP (Contract number N°SA-010 -2014) and Concepto Azul (Ecuador) and the Programa de Ciencia y Tecnología de la Presidencia del Consejo de Ministros—FINCyT through an assignment (Contract number N°71-FINCYT-PITEI-2010) along with private funds from MEDA, Marinazul, Inversiones Silma, and Incabiotec (Peru). B.D. was supported by a schol‐arship from the Franco Peruvian School of Life Sciences and K.P. by FONDECYT (CONVENIO DE GESTIÓN N° 015-2013). We are grate‐ful to CIENCIACTIVA-CONCYTEC for its support through a Molecular Biotechnology Master Program scholarship to K.P. We thank Saverio Vicario for his valuable criticism on an early version of this paper. The authors take the opportunity to express their respect to each of the concheros and concheras of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, in recogni‐tion of the hard work they do to support their families, as well as efforts to continue improving the activity, protecting the resource and the mangrove ecosystem for future generations. We thank Rita Castilho and an anonymous reviewer for their constructive criticism.
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