Title: Extinction, recolonisation and dispersal through time in a planktonic crustacean
Authors: Mergeay, Joachim ×
Vanoverbeke, Joost
Verschuren, Dirk
De Meester, Luc #
Issue Date: 12-Dec-2007
Publisher: Ecological Society of America
Series Title: Ecology vol:88 issue:12 pages:3032-3043
Abstract: Dormant propagule banks are important reservoirs of biological and genetic diversity of local communities and populations and provide buffering mechanisms against extinction. Although dormant stages of various plant and animal species are known to remain viable for decades and even centuries, little is known about the effective influence of recolonization from such old sources on the genetic continuity of intermittent populations under natural conditions. Using recent and old dormant eggs recovered from a dated lake sediment core in Kenya, we traced the genetic composition of a local population of the planktonic crustacean Daphnia barbata through a sequence of extinction and recolonization events. This was combined with a phylogeographic and population-genetic survey of regional populations. Four successive populations, fully separated in time, inhabited Lake Naivasha from ca. 1330 to 1570 AD, from ca. 1610 to 1720 AD, from ca. 1840 to 1940 AD, and from 1995 to the present (2001 AD). Our results strongly indicate genetic continuity between the 1840–1940 and 1995–2001 populations, which are separated in time by at least 50 years, and close genetic relatedness of them both to the 1330–1580 population. A software tool (Colonize) was developed to find the most likely source population of the refounded 1995–2001 population and to test the number of colonists involved in the recolonization event. The results confirmed that the 1995–2001 population most probably developed out of a limited number of surviving local dormant eggs from the previous population, rather than out of individuals from regional (central and southern Kenya) or more distant (Ethiopia, Zimbabwe) populations that may have immigrated to Lake Naivasha through passive dispersal. These results emphasize the importance of prolonged dormancy for the natural long-term dynamics of crustacean zooplankton in fluctuating environments and suggest an important role of old local dormant egg banks in aquatic habitat restoration.
ISSN: 0012-9658
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory for Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (-)
Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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