Population genetic structure of the Patagonian longfin squid Doryteuthis gahi was assessed across the Falkland Islands, central-southern Chile, and Peru. Microsatellite and mtDNA data partitioned samples into two groups: one consisting of the Peruvian samples, the other comprised the Chilean and Falklands samples, with no sub-structuring within either group. Recurrent demographic independence between groups can be linked to abrupt changes in continental shelf features between the Peruvian and central Chilean sites restricting adult dispersal. Phylogeographic analyses indicate a prolonged period of isolation between the Peruvian and Chilean–Falkland groups which may include divergence in allopatric glacial refugia. Both groups have experienced dissimilar historical population size dynamics with the Peruvian population exhibiting signals of size fluctuations, similar to other species in the area, that align with postglacial changes in the productivity of the Humboldt Current system. Genetic cohesion among central-southern Chilean and Falklands samples supports connectivity across current management boundaries and indicates that phenotypic differences between D. gahi from these areas reflect plastic responses to environmental heterogeneity. The study adds to evidence that loliginid squids typically display connected populations over large geographical areas unless specific oceanographic features restrict gene flow. Recognition of the Peruvian and Chilean–Falklands groups as distinct evolutionary significant units is recommended
- dispersal, phylogeography, plasticity, Pleistocene, squid, sustainability
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