Could the Black Katy Chiton Survive a Period of Rapid Oceanic Warming?
Doonan, J., Beatty, G.E., Sigwart, J.D. and Provan, J. 2012. Extensive local-scale gene flow and long-term population stability in the intertidal mollusk Katharina tunicata (Mollusca: Polyplacophora). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106: 589-597.
In futher investigation, Doonan et al. - as they briefly describe their work - "used nuclear single-nucleotide polymorphisms and mitochrondrial DNA sequencing to elucidate fine-scale patterns of genetic variation between populations of the Black Katy Chiton separated by 15-150 km in southwest Vancouver Island."
Based on their analysis, the four UK researchers from Queen's University in Belfast report that "both the nuclear and mitochondrial data sets revealed no genetic differentiation between the populations studied," as well as the fact that "an isolation-with-migration analysis indicated extensive local-scale gene flow, suggesting an absence of barriers to dispersal." In addition, they say that "population demographic analysis also revealed long-term population stability through previous periods of climate change associated with the Pleistocene glaciations," and - more particularly - at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition of approximately ten thousand years ago, as discussed by Fields et al. (1993).
The conclusions of Doonan et al. are that "taken together, the current evidence of high dispersal and a lack of biogeographic barriers to gene flow, coupled with the signature of long-term population stability through previous periods of climate change, suggest that this dispersal potential may act as a lifeline for K. tunicata as their southerly habitats rapidly warm, and a poleward migration is required for survival," additionally citing the work of Graham et al. (2010) in this regard.
Fields, P.A., Graham, J.B., Rosenblatt, R.H. and Somero, G.N. 1993. Effects of expected global climate change on marine faunas. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 8: 361-367.
Graham, C.H., VanDerWal, J., Philips, S.J., Moritz, C. and Williams, S.E. 2010. Dynamic refugia and species persistence: tracking spatial shifts in habitat through time. Ecography 33: 1062-1069.
Paine, R.T. 1992. Food-web analysis through field measurement of per capita interaction strength. Nature 355: 73-75.