Genetic connectivity patterns of Pocillopora verrucosa in southern African Marine Protected Areas

Ridgway, Tyrone, Riginos, Cynthia, Davis, Jasmine and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove (2008) Genetic connectivity patterns of Pocillopora verrucosa in southern African Marine Protected Areas. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 354 161-168. doi:10.3354/meps07245


Author Ridgway, Tyrone
Riginos, Cynthia
Davis, Jasmine
Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove
Title Genetic connectivity patterns of Pocillopora verrucosa in southern African Marine Protected Areas
Formatted title
Genetic connectivity patterns of Pocillopora verrucosa in southern African Marine Protected Areas
Journal name Marine Ecology-Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
1616-1599
Publication date 2008-01-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps07245
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 354
Start page 161
End page 168
Total pages 8
Editor O. Kinne
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Language eng
Abstract A coherent management plan for coral reef communities should take into account the patterns of connections among distant reefs in order to prioritise conservation efforts to those areas that are important larval sources. At present, the inclusion of such connectivity assessments into Marine Protected Area (MPA) planning is hindered by the lack of knowledge of the exact patterns of connectivity among reefs. To evaluate such patterns, microsatellite loci were used to assess the population genetic structure of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa in currently established MPAs in South Africa and southern Mozambique. All local collections were sexually reproducing (mean genotypic diversity ratio N-g:N = 0.88) and differed significantly from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium due to heterozygote deficits, and genetic diversity decreased with increasing latitude. Bayesian analyses (using STRUCTURE) and F-ST analysis (F-ST = 0.054) identified southern Mozambique as a separate cluster from South Africa, suggesting weak connectivity between southern Mozambique and South African reef communities over ecological time scales. However, southern Mozambican reefs may contribute recruits to the South African reefs over many generations via a stepping-stone approach, highlighting that the conservation of reefs operates on scales that are often beyond geographical/political boundaries.
Formatted abstract
A coherent management plan for coral reef communities should take into account the patterns of connections among distant reefs in order to prioritise conservation efforts to those areas that are important larval sources. At present, the inclusion of such connectivity assessments into Marine Protected Area (MPA) planning is hindered by the lack of knowledge of the exact patterns of connectivity among reefs. To evaluate such patterns, microsatellite loci were used to assess the population genetic structure of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa in currently established MPAs in South Africa and southern Mozambique. All local collections were sexually reproducing (mean genotypic diversity ratio Ng:N = 0.88) and differed significantly from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium due to heterozygote deficits, and genetic diversity decreased with increasing latitude. Bayesian analyses (using STRUCTURE) and FST analysis (FST = 0.054) identified southern Mozambique as a separate cluster from South Africa, suggesting weak connectivity between southern Mozambique and South African reef communities over ecological time scales. However, southern Mozambican reefs may contribute recruits to the South African reefs over many generations via a stepping-stone approach, highlighting that the conservation of reefs operates on scales that are often beyond geographical/political boundaries.
Keyword Coral
Microsatellites
Connectivity
MPAs
Southern Africa
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Thu, 16 Apr 2009, 03:45:35 EST by Peter Fogarty on behalf of Centre for Marine Studies