Sea-level driven glacial-age refugia and post-glacial mixing on subtropical coasts, a palaeohabitat and genetic study

Greer A. Dolby, Ryan Hechinger, Ryan A. Ellingson, Lloyd T. Findley, Julio Lorda, David K. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using a novel combination of palaeohabitat modelling and genetic mixture analyses, we identify and assess a sea-level-driven recolonization process following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Our palaeohabitat modelling reveals dramatic changes in estuarine habitat distribution along the coast of California (USA) and Baja California (Mexico). At the LGM (approx. 20 kya), when sea level was approximately 130 m lower, the palaeo-shoreline was too steep for tidal estuarine habitat formation, eliminating this habitat type from regions where it is currently most abundant, and limiting such estuaries to a northern and a southern refugium separated by 1000 km.We assess the recolonization of estuaries formed during post-LGMsea-level rise through examination of refugium-associated alleles and approximate Bayesian computation in three species of estuarine fishes. Results reveal sourcing of modern populations from both refugia, which admix in the newly formed habitat between the refuges. We infer a dramatic peak in habitat area between 15 and 10 kya with subsequent decline. Overall, this approach revealed a previously undocumented dynamic and integrated relationship between sea-level change, coastal processes and population genetics. These results extend glacial refugial dynamics to unglaciated subtropical coasts and have significant implications for biotic response to predicted sea-level rise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20161571
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume283
Issue number1843
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 30 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Approximate bayesian computation
  • Baja california
  • Estuaries
  • Last glacial maximum
  • Recolonization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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