Low connectivity between ‘scaly-foot gastropod’ (Mollusca: Peltospiridae) populations at hydrothermal vents on the Southwest Indian Ridge and the Central Indian Ridge
Hydrothermal vents on mid-oceanic ridges are patchily distributed and host many taxa endemic to deep-sea chemosynthetic environments, whose dispersal may be constrained by geographical barriers. The aim of this study was to investigate the connectivity of three populations of the ‘scaly-foot gastropod’ (Chrysomallon squamiferum Chen et al., 2015), a species endemic to hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean, amongst two vent fields on the Central Indian Ridge (CIR) and Longqi field, the first sampled vent field on the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). Connectivity and population structure across the two mid-oceanic ridges were investigated using a 489-bp fragment of the cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI) gene. Phylogeographical approaches used include measures of genetic differentiation (F ST), reconstruction of parsimony haplotype network, mismatch analyses and neutrality tests. Relative migrants per generation were estimated between the fields. Significant differentiation (F ST = 0.28–0.29, P < 0.001) was revealed between the vent field in SWIR and the two in CIR. Signatures were detected indicating recent bottleneck events followed by demographic expansion in all populations. Estimates of relative number of migrants were relatively low between the SWIR and CIR, compared with values between the CIR vent fields. The present study is the first to investigate connectivity between hydrothermal vents across two mid-ocean ridges in the Indian Ocean. The phylogeography revealed for C. squamiferum indicates low connectivity between SWIR and CIR vent populations, with implications for the future management of environmental impacts for seafloor mining at hydrothermal vents in the region, as proposed for Longqi.
Authors: Chen, Chong, Copley, Jonathan T., Linse, Katrin, Rogers, Alex D.