Estimating connectivity in marine populations: an empirical evaluation of assignment tests and parentage analysis under different gene flow scenarios

Saenz-Agudelo, P., Jones, G.P., Thorrold, S.R., and Planes, S. (2009) Estimating connectivity in marine populations: an empirical evaluation of assignment tests and parentage analysis under different gene flow scenarios. Molecular Ecology, 18 (8). pp. 1765-1776.

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Abstract

The application of spatially explicit models of population dynamics to fisheries management and the design marine reserve network systems has been limited due to a lack of empirical estimates of larval dispersal. Here we compared assignment tests and parentage analysis for examining larval retention and connectivity under two different gene flow scenarios using panda clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus) in Papua New Guinea. A metapopulation of panda clownfish in Bootless Bay with little or no genetic differentiation among five spatially discrete locations separated by 2–6 km provided the high gene flow scenario. The low gene flow scenario compared the Bootless Bay metapopulation with a genetically distinct population (FST= 0.1) located at Schumann Island, New Britain, 1500 km to the northeast. We used assignment tests and parentage analysis based on microsatellite DNA data to identify natal origins of 177 juveniles in Bootless Bay and 73 juveniles at Schumann Island. At low rates of gene flow, assignment tests correctly classified juveniles to their source population. On the other hand, parentage analysis led to an overestimate of self-recruitment within the two populations due to the significant deviation from panmixia when both populations were pooled. At high gene flow (within Bootless Bay), assignment tests underestimated self-recruitment and connectivity among subpopulations, and grossly overestimated self-recruitment within the overall metapopulation. However, the assignment tests did identify immigrants from distant (genetically distinct) populations. Parentage analysis clearly provided the most accurate estimates of connectivity in situations of high gene flow.

Item ID: 5457
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: assignment tests, connectivity, coral-reef ecology, larval dispersal, marine protected areas, metapopulation, microsatellites, parentage analysis, self-recruitment, marine science, ecology, environment, climate change, coral reef, conservation, connectivity, dispersal, marine-reserve
ISSN: 1365-294X
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2009 23:19
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961303 Protected Conservation Areas in Marine Environments @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 30%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 49
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