Gene Expression of Na+/K+ ATPase in Haminoea japonica
Gene flow is important in maintaining genetic variation and replenishing locally disrupted populations. Because of the importance of gene flow, predicting dispersal patterns and connectivity in marine ecosystems is essential for effective conservation and management (Gray 1997, Lipcius et al. 2008). Most benthic marine invertebrates disperse only during a pelagic larval period, which varies in length between and among species (Krug 2009). Since an organism with a relatively long Pelagic Larval Duration (PLD) can potentially travel farther than an organism that settles sooner, PLD was initially used as an indicator of connectivity (Shanks et al. 2003). However, results from studies on a variety of invertebrates show that PLD is not a consistent predictor of connectivity (Lester and Ruttenberg 2005, Shanks 2009). These results suggest that chemical and environmental signals may induce larval settlement and metamorphosis sooner than expected (Strathmann et al. 2002, Weersing and Toonen 2009, Kelly and Palumbi 2010).