The tidewater goby, Eucyclogobius newberryi, inhabits discrete, seasonally closed estuaries and lagoons along approximately 1500 km of California coastline. This species is euryhaline but has no explicit marine stage, yet population extirpation and recolonization data suggest tidewater gobies disperse intermittently via the sea. Analyses of mitochondrial control region and cytochrome b sequences demonstrate a deep evolutionary bifurcation in the vicinity of Los Angeles that separates southern California populations from all more northerly populations. Shallower phylogeographic breaks, in the vicinities of Seacliff, Point Buchon, Big Sur, and Point Arena segregate the northerly populations into five groups in three geographic clusters: the Point Conception and Ventura groups between Los Angeles and Point Buchon, a lone Estero Bay group from central California, and San Francisco and Cape Mendocino groups from northern California. The phylogenetic relationships between and patterns of molecular diversity within the six groups are consistent with repeated, and sometimes rapid, northward and southward range expansions out of central California caused by Quaternary climate change. Plio-Pleistocene tectonism, Quaternary coastal geography and hydrography, and historical human activities probably also influenced the modern geographic and genetic structure of E. newberryi. The phylogeography of E. newberryi is concordant with phylogeographic patterns in several other coastal California taxa, suggesting common extrinsic factors have had similar effects on different species. However, there is no evidence of a phylogeographic break coincident with a biogeographic boundary at Point Conception.
Corresponding Editor: S. Karl