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Historical demography and colonization pathways of the widespread intertidal seaweed Hormosira banksii (Phaeophyceae) in southeastern Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 14:25 authored by Mueller, R, Jeffrey WrightJeffrey Wright, Christopher BolchChristopher Bolch
The palaeoceanography of southern Australia has been characterized by fluctuating sea levels during glacial periods, changing temperature regimes and modified boundary currents. Previous studies on genetic structuring of species in southeastern Australia have focused mainly on the differentiation of eastern and western populations while the potential role of Bass Strait as a region of overlap for three biogeographic provinces (Peronia, Maugea, and Flindersia) has been largely ignored. This study aimed to explore the likely roles of historic and contemporary factors in determining divergence patterns in the habitat-forming intertidal seaweed Hormosira banksii in southeastern Australia with a special focus on postglacial dispersal into Bass Strait. We examined the genetic diversity of 475 Hormosira specimens collected from 19 sites around southern Australia using DNA sequence analysis of cytochrome oxidase 1. Three major haplotype groups were identified (western, centre and eastern) corresponding with the three existing biogeographical provinces in this region. Historic break points appeared to be retained and reinforced by modern day dispersal barriers. Phylogeographic grouping of Hormosira reflected a combination of historic and contemporary oceanography. As western and eastern group haplotypes were largely absent within Bass Strait, re-colonization after the last glacial maximum appeared to have originated from refuges within or near present day Bass Strait. Patterns of genetic structure for Hormosira are consistent with other marine species in this region and highlight the importance of biogeographical barriers in contributing to modern genetic structure.


Publication title

Journal of Phycology








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Blackwell Publishing Inc

Place of publication

350 Main St, Malden, USA, Ma, 02148

Rights statement

© 2017 Phycological Society of America

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified