Congruent patterns of connectivity can inform management for broadcast spawning corals on the Great Barrier Reef

Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi, Riginos, Cynthia and van Oppen, Madeleine J. H. (2016) Congruent patterns of connectivity can inform management for broadcast spawning corals on the Great Barrier Reef. Molecular Ecology, 25 13: 3065-3080. doi:10.1111/mec.13649

Author Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi
Riginos, Cynthia
van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.
Title Congruent patterns of connectivity can inform management for broadcast spawning corals on the Great Barrier Reef
Journal name Molecular Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-294X
Publication date 2016-07
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/mec.13649
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 25
Issue 13
Start page 3065
End page 3080
Total pages 16
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Connectivity underpins the persistence and recovery of marine ecosystems. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem and managed by an extensive network of no-take zones; however, information about connectivity was not available to optimize the network's configuration. We use multivariate analyses, Bayesian clustering algorithms and assignment tests of the largest population genetic data set for any organism on the GBR to date (Acropora tenuis, >2500 colonies; >50 reefs, genotyped for ten microsatellite loci) to demonstrate highly congruent patterns of connectivity between this common broadcast spawning reef-building coral and its congener Acropora millepora (~950 colonies; 20 reefs, genotyped for 12 microsatellite loci). For both species, there is a genetic divide at around 19°S latitude, most probably reflecting allopatric differentiation during the Pleistocene. GBR reefs north of 19°S are essentially panmictic whereas southern reefs are genetically distinct with higher levels of genetic diversity and population structure, most notably genetic subdivision between inshore and offshore reefs south of 19°S. These broadly congruent patterns of higher genetic diversities found on southern GBR reefs most likely represent the accumulation of alleles via the southward flowing East Australia Current. In addition, signatures of genetic admixture between the Coral Sea and outer-shelf reefs in the northern, central and southern GBR provide evidence of recent gene flow. Our connectivity results are consistent with predictions from recently published larval dispersal models for broadcast spawning corals on the GBR, thereby providing robust connectivity information about the dominant reef-building genus Acropora for coral reef managers.
Keyword Acropora tenuis
Acropora millepora
Coral reef management
Population genetics - empirical
Seascape genetics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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School of Biological Sciences Publications
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