Essay on Interpreting Two Articles Detailing a Study of Kelp Genes

Essay on Interpreting Two Articles Detailing a Study of Kelp Genes

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The article, Kelp genes reveal effects of subantarctic sea ice during the Last Glacial Maximum, describes an experiment designed to measure the extent of sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Prior to this study, palaeogeographers had had yet to decisively determine the extent of sea ice in the southern hemisphere during the LGM, so this experiment greatly contributed to the progress of the palaeogeographic field. The authors of this article also notably pioneered a new method of study in this field; they were the first palaeogeographers to examine modern genetic data in order to draw conclusions about the past conditions and climate of the southern hemisphere (Fogarty, 2009).
The authors used mitochondrial and chloroplast genetic markers (COI; rbcL) to genetically examine 300 kelp samples from 45 various locations about Southern Ocean localities. They then used these results to approximate how long the kelp has been in that area; if the kelp displayed genetic homogeneity then it suggested that the kept recently colonized the area, and if the kept did not then it suggested that that population of kelp has been there for a comparatively longer period of time (Fraser et al., 2009). Since the D. antarctica cannot survive ice scour, it is inferred that the areas in which the kelp seem to have recently colonized were affected by ice scour during the LGM. As a result of the experiment, the authors found that their data suggested that the ice cover during the LGM spanned a much larger area than previously assumed.
In the article, the authors provide a diagram containing the results of their genetic characterization of the kelp on page 2. The figures are organized into a phylogenetic tree. The purpose...


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...nes Reveal Effects of Subantarctic Sea Ice during the Last Glacial Maximum." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106.9 (2009): 3249-253. Print.

Fraser, Ceridwen I., Martin Thiel, Hamish G. Spencer, and Jonathan M. Waters. "Contemporary Habitat Discontinuity and Historic Glacial Ice Drive Genetic Divergence in Chilean Kelp." BMC Evolutionary Biology 10.1 (2010): 203. Print.

Hinojosa, Iván A., Matías Pizarro, Marcel Ramos, and Martin Thiel. "Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Floating Kelp in the Channels and Fjords of Southern Chile." Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 87.3 (2010): 367-77. Print.

Wagstaff, SJ, I. Breitweiser, and M. Ito. "EVOLUTION AND BIOGEOGRAPHY OF PLEUROPHYLLUM (ASTEREAE, ASTERACEAE), A SMALL GENUS OF MEGAHERBS ENDEMIC TO THE SUBANTARCTIC ISLANDS." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY 98.1 (2011). Web of Science. Web. 13 Nov. 2011.

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