Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Timothy Collins

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

De Etta Mills

Third Advisor's Name

Michael Heithaus

Fourth Advisor's Name

Kimberly Harrison

Fifth Advisor's Name

Frank J. Jochem


copepod, phylogeography, Paracalanus quasimodo, Temora turbinata, temporal, phylogeny, Gulf of Mexico

Date of Defense



Paracalanus quasimodo and Temora turbinata are two calanoid copepods prominent in the planktonic communities of the southeastern United States. Despite their prominence, the species and population level structure of these copepods is yet unexplored. The phylogeographic, temporal and phylogenetic structure of P. quasimodo and T. turbinata are examined in my study. Samples were collected from ten sites along the Gulf of Mexico and Florida peninsular coasts. Three sites were sampled quarterly for two years. Individuals were screened for unique ITS-1 sequences with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Unique variants were sequenced at the nuclear ITS-1 and mitochondrial COI loci. Sampling sites were analyzed for pairwise community differences and for variances between geographic and temporal groupings. Genetic variants were analyzed for phylogenetic and coalescent topology. Paracalanus quasimodo is highly structured geographically with populations divided between the Gulf of Mexico, temperate Atlantic and subtropical Atlantic, in addition to isolation by distance. No significant differences were detected between the T. turbinata samples. Both P. quasimodo and T. turbinata are stable within sites over time and between sites within a sampling period, with two exceptions. The first was a pilot sample from Miami taken two years prior to the general sampling whose community showed significant differences from most of the other Miami samples. Paracalanus quasimodo had a positive correlation of Fst with time. The second was high temporal variability detected in the samples from Fort Pierce. Phylogenetically, both P. quasimodo and T. turbinata were in well supported, congeneric clades. Paracalanus quasimodo was not monophyletic, divided into two well-supported clades. Temora turbinata variants were in one clade with insignificant support for topology within the clade and very little intraspecific variation. Paracalanus quasimodo and T. turbinata populations show opposite trends. Paracalanus quasimodo occurs near shore and shows population structure mediated by hydrological features and distance, both geographic and temporal. The phylogeny shows two deeply divergent clades suggestive of cryptic speciation. In contrast, T. turbinata populations range further offshore and show little geographic or temporal structure. However, the low genetic variation detected in this region suggests a recent bottleneck event.





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