Journal article

Vicariance and dispersal across an intermittent barrier: population genetic structure of marine animals across the Torres Strait land bridge

AGK Mirams, EA Treml, JL Shields, L Liggins, C Riginos

Coral Reefs | SPRINGER | Published : 2011


Biogeographic barriers, some transitory in duration, are likely to have been important contributing factors to modern marine biodiversity in the Indo-Pacific region. One such barrier was the Torres Strait land bridge between continental Australia and New Guinea that persisted through much of the late Pleistocene and separated Indian and Pacific Ocean taxa. Here, we examine the patterns of mitochondrial DNA diversity for marine animals with present-day distributions spanning the Torres Strait. Specifically, we investigate whether there are concordant signatures across species, consistent with either vicariance or recent colonization from either ocean basin. We survey four species of reef fish..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Thanks to J. D. Aguirre-Davies and F. MacKenzie for assistance in the field, and two anonymous reviewers for comments. The Computational Biology Service Unit from Cornell University, which is partially funded by Microsoft Corporation, was used for some analyses. Funding for this work was provided by the Australian Research Council (DP0878306 to CR), and the World Wildlife Fund (to EAT). Fishes were collected under permits from the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts (AU-COM2008042), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Department of Environment and Resource Management (G08/28114.1), Queensland Government Dept. of Primary Industries & Fisheries (118636), and WA Department of Environment and Conservation (SF006619). This study complies with Animal Ethics standards for the University of Queensland (permit SIB/817/08/ARC).