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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access October 18, 2013

Limited gene flow in Uca minax (LeConte 1855) along a tidally influenced river system

  • Joseph Staton EMAIL logo , Stephen Borgianini , Ian Gibson , Renae Brodie and Thomas Greig
From the journal Open Life Sciences


For crab larvae, swimming behaviors coupled with the movement of tides suggests that larvae can normally move upstream within estuaries by avoiding ebb tides and actively swimming during flood tides (i.e., flood-tide transport [FTT]). Recently, a 1-D transport model incorporating larval behavior predicted that opposing forces of river discharge and tidal amplitude in the Pee Dee River/Winyah Bay system of South Carolina, USA, could limit dispersal within a single estuary for downstream transport as well as become a dispersal barrier to recruitment of late stage larvae to the freshwater adult habitats of Uca minax (LeConte 1855). We sequenced 394-bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome apoenzyme b for 226 adult U. minax, from four locales along a 49-km stretch of the Pee Dee River/Winyah Bay estuary, above and below the boundary of salt intrusion. Results of an analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) and an exact test of population differentiation showed a small, but statistically significant (α=0.05) population subdivision among adults of the 4 subpopulations, as well as all subpopulations being significantly differentiated (α=0.05). This pattern fitted with model predictions, which implies that larval transport within the tidally influenced river system is limited.

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Published Online: 2013-10-18
Published in Print: 2014-1-1

© 2013 Versita Warsaw

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