A complex evolutionary history in a remote archipelago: phylogeography and morphometrics of the Hawaiian endemic Ligia isopods

PloS One
Carlos A SantamariaLuis A Hurtado


Compared to the striking diversification and levels of endemism observed in many terrestrial groups within the Hawaiian Archipelago, marine invertebrates exhibit remarkably lower rates of endemism and diversification. Supralittoral invertebrates restricted to specific coastal patchy habitats, however, have the potential for high levels of allopatric diversification. This is the case of Ligia isopods endemic to the Hawaiian Archipelago, which most likely arose from a rocky supralittoral ancestor that colonized the archipelago via rafting, and diversified into rocky supralittoral and inland lineages. A previous study on populations of this isopod from O'ahu and Kaua'i revealed high levels of allopatric differentiation, and suggested inter-island historical dispersal events have been rare. To gain a better understanding on the diversity and evolution of this group, we expanded prior phylogeographic work by incorporating populations from unsampled main Hawaiian Islands (Maui, Moloka'i, Lana'i, and Hawai'i), increasing the number of gene markers (four mitochondrial and two nuclear genes), and conducting Maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses. Our study revealed new lineages and expanded the distribution range of sever...Continue Reading


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