Meeting Abstract

S10-1.3  Saturday, Jan. 7  Genetic variation: are barnacles so strange? WARES, J.P.*; EWERS, C.; University of Georgia

Environmental heterogeneity, both spatial and temporal, is likely to leave indicators in the patterns of nucleotide variation across genomes. These patterns are often assessed with statistical tests that rely on assumptions about the mechanisms of natural selection, and the demographic processes that have shaped contemporary populations. Recent work has suggested that, for some parts of the genome at least, it is so typical for a population to deviate from the assumptions of the null hypothesis that we should re-evaluate how these tests are employed. Here, we focus on such patterns in available data sets from barnacles, which represent a taxon that exhibits the most extreme empirical deviation from the null expectation. We evaluate whether specimen curation in this group, which is well known for morphological plasticity and high numbers of cryptic species, is responsible for this deviation. Our results suggest that this is not an artifact of sampling or curation, but is likely to have important basis in the interaction between species and their environment.