Postglacial range shift and demographic expansion of the marine intertidal snail Batillaria attramentaria

Phuong Thao Ho, Ye Seul Kwan, Boa Kim, Yong Jin Won

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


To address the impacts of past climate changes, particularly since the last glacial period, on the history of the distribution and demography of marine species, we investigated the evolutionary and demographic responses of the intertidal batillariid gastropod, Batillaria attramentaria, to these changes, using the snail as a model species in the northwest Pacific. We applied phylogeographic and divergence population genetic approaches to mitochondrial COI sequences from B. attramentaria. To cover much of its distributional range, 197 individuals collected throughout Korea and 507 publically available sequences (mostly from Japan) were used. Finally, a Bayesian skyline plot (BSP) method was applied to reconstruct the demographic history of this species. We found four differentiated geographic groups around Korea, confirming the presence of two distinct, geographically subdivided haplogroups on the Japanese coastlines along the bifurcated routes of the warm Tsushima and Kuroshio Currents. These two haplogroups were estimated to have begun to split approximately 400,000 years ago. Population divergence analysis supported the hypothesis that the Yellow Sea was populated by a northward range expansion of a small fraction of founders that split from a southern ancestral population since the last glacial maximum (LGM: 26,000-19,000 years ago), when the southern area became re-submerged. BSP analyses on six geographically and genetically defined groups in Korea and Japan consistently demonstrated that each group has exponentially increased approximately since the LGM. This study resolved the phylogeography of B. attramentaria as a series of events connected over space and time; while paleoceanographic conditions determining the connectivity of neighboring seas in East Asia are responsible for the vicariance of this species, the postglacial sea-level rise and warming temperatures have played a crucial role in rapid range shifts and broad demographic expansions of its populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-435
Number of pages17
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Batillaria attramentaria
  • Bayesian skyline plot
  • COI gene
  • Climate change
  • Demographic expansion
  • Range shift
  • The last glacial maximum


Dive into the research topics of 'Postglacial range shift and demographic expansion of the marine intertidal snail Batillaria attramentaria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this