JOURNAL ARTICLE

Spawning, copulation and inbreeding coefficients in marine invertebrates

J A Addison, M W Hart
Biology Letters 2005 December 22, 1 (4): 450-3
17148230
Patterns of population genetic variation have frequently been understood as consequences of life history covariates such as dispersal ability and breeding systems (e.g. selfing). For example, marine invertebrates show enormous variation in life history traits that are correlated with the extent of gene flow between populations and the magnitude of differentiation among populations at neutral genetic markers (FST). Here we document an unexpected correlation between marine invertebrate life histories and deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (non-zero values of FIS, the inbreeding coefficient). FIS values were significantly higher in studies of species with free-spawned planktonic sperm than in studies of species that copulate or have some form of direct sperm transfer to females or benthic egg masses. This result was robust to several different analytical approaches. We note several mechanisms that might contribute to this pattern, and appeal for more studies and ideas that might help to explain our observations.

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