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J Evol Biol. 2004 Sep;17(5):953-66.

Regional variation in the spatial scale of selection at MPI* and GPI* in the acorn barnacle Semibalanus balanoides (Crustacea).

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Département de Biologie, Québec Océan, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.


Elucidating the ecological processes by which adaptive genetic polymorphism is maintained in heterogeneous environments requires knowledge on the spatial scale at which alternate habitats affect genotype-specific fitness. The general objective of this study was to document patterns of temporal and spatial variation of genetic polymorphism in the acorn barnacle (Semibalanus balanoides) at MPI* and GPI* allozyme loci. A total of 7261 barnacles were sampled in the intertidal at various locations north and south of the Miramichi estuary, New Brunswick, Canada. The results of this study supported the hypothesis that both MPI* and GPI* are under the effect of strong directional selection south of the Miramichi, whereas neutrality cannot be ruled out at sampling sites located north of the estuary. Comparisons between this study and previous ones also question the generality of current hypotheses regarding ecological processes that are responsible for maintaining polymorphism at MPI* and GPI* in the acorn barnacle.

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