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Phylogeography of the diamond turbot (Hypsopsetta guttulata) across the Baja California Peninsula


We compared morphology and sequenced nuclear and mitochondrial genes from 11 populations of a previously genetically unstudied “Baja California disjunct” species, the diamond turbot (Hypsopsetta guttulata). This species exhibits very limited adult movement and restriction to soft-bottom habitats but has a moderately long pelagic larval duration. Therefore, if pelagic larval duration is correlated with gene flow between Gulf of California and Pacific populations, we expect a reduced level of genetic and morphological differentiation. However, if adult habitat and ecology have more effect on gene flow, we expect the populations in the two bodies of water to be more highly differentiated. We used logistic regression to compare morphological features and phylogenetic and population genetic analyses to compare nucleotide sequence data. Gulf of California H. guttulata are different from Pacific populations in morphology and both mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences. MtDNA shows reciprocal monophyly, and nuclear sequences from the Gulf of California formed a monophyletic group. Population genetic analyses also suggest further population subdivision within the Pacific and within the Gulf of California. We argue that adult ecology has a significant effect on migration rates among populations in the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.

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