The aim of the study was to characterise the genetic biodiversity of populations of the copepod Paralabidocera antarctica and the cladoceran Daphniopsis studeri in the Australian Antarctic Territory. Sampling was finalised during November and December 2000.
Daphniopsis studeri were sampled from freshwater lakes in the Vestfold and Larsemann Hills, and from small ponds on Heard Island. ... Paralabidocera antarctica were collected from saline lakes, fjords and embayments around the Vestfold Hills.
Each population was analysed at 16 allozyme loci using cellulose acetate electrophoresis. Allozyme data were recorded as multilocus genotypes for each individual. The observed number of multi-locus genotypes were tested against expected values to determine whether populations of Daphniopsis studeri reproduce by obligate or cyclic parthenogenesis. Geographic genetic structure of the crustacean populations was assessed using genetic distance measures and cluster analysis. Local and regional gene flow was estimated using Fst and multivariate statistics.
By using genetic tools to measure indirectly dispersal and gene flow among populations with each species, we hope to reconstruct the history of these species in Antarctica and to determine the relative significance of historical versus contemporary ecological conditions.