Differences in genetic diversity and divergence between brooding and broadcast spawning corals across two spatial scales in the Coral Triangle region

Rosa Maria van der Ven, Hanneloor Heynderickx, Marc Kochzius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Coral Triangle region contains the world’s highest marine biodiversity, however, these reefs are also the most threatened by global and local threats. A main limitation that prevents the implementation of adequate conservation measures is that connectivity and genetic structure of populations is poorly known. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic diversity, population structure and connectivity patterns of tropical corals in Indonesia on two different spatial scales, as well as by comparing two different reproduction strategies. Genotyping was based on microsatellite markers for 316 individual Seriatopora hystrix colonies and 142 Acropora millepora colonies sampled in Pulau Seribu and Spermonde Archipelago in 2012 and 2013. Differences in allelic diversity and a strong signature of divergence associated with historical land barriers at the Sunda Shelf were found for the brooding coral Seriatopora hystrix. However, differences in diversity and divergence were not pronounced in the broadcast spawning coral Acropora millepora. Within Spermonde Archipelago, two groups were identified: (1) sites of the sheltered inner-shelf and mid-shelf, which were found to be highly interconnected and (2) mid-shelf and outer-shelf sites characterised by higher differentiation. These patterns of contemporary dispersal barriers and genetic diversity can be explained by the differences in life history of the corals, as well as by oceanographic conditions facilitating larval dispersal. The contemporary dispersal barriers found within the Spermonde Archipelago emphasise the need for incorporating connectivity data in future conservation efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages17
JournalMarine Biology
Volume168
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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