Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Assessment of temporal genetic variability of two epibenthic amphipod species in an eastern Australian estuarine environment and their suitability as biological monitors

Pann Pann Chung A B , Ida Chu A and J. William O. Ballard A

A School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: pann.chung@gmail.com

Australian Journal of Zoology 62(3) 206-215 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/ZO13104
Submitted: 4 December 2013  Accepted: 8 May 2014   Published: 10 June 2014

Abstract

Population studies often assume temporally stable and consistent patterns of genetic variability. Violations of this assumption can lead to misrepresentation of the amount and patterns of genetic variability in natural populations, which can be problematic in basic research and environmental monitoring studies that are designed to detect environmental perturbation. We collected two endemic species of amphipods, Melita plumulosa and Melita matilda, in a major eastern Australian waterway between November 2009 and October 2011, and assessed genetic variation at the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I locus. Overall, M. plumulosa was found to be more genetically variable than M. matilda. No distinct temporal trends in levels and patterns of genetic variation were identified in either species. These findings, combined with the published results demonstrating that M. plumulosa has greater sensitivity to a range of sediment-bound metals and organic contaminants, suggests it to be an informative species for environmental monitoring purposes.

Graphical Abstract Image

Additional keywords: crustacean, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, environmental monitoring, genetic variation, Melita matilda, Melita plumulosa.


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