Historic hybridization and introgression between two iconic Australian anemonefish and contemporary patterns of population connectivity

van der Meer, M.H., Jones, G.P., Hobbs, J.-P.A., and Van Herwerden, L. (2012) Historic hybridization and introgression between two iconic Australian anemonefish and contemporary patterns of population connectivity. Ecology and Evolution, 2 (7). pp. 1592-1604.

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Abstract

Endemic species on islands are considered at risk of extinction for several reasons, including limited dispersal abilities, small population sizes, and low genetic diversity. We used mitochondrial DNA (D-Loop) and 17 microsatellite loci to explore the evolutionary relationship between an endemic anemonefish, Amphiprion mccullochi (restricted to isolated locations in subtropical eastern Australia) and its more widespread sister species, A. akindynos. A mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogram showed reciprocal monophyly was lacking for the two species, with two supported groups, each containing representatives of both species, but no shared haplotypes and up to 12 species, but not location-specific management units (MUs). Population genetic analyses suggested evolutionary connectivity among samples of each species (mtDNA), while ecological connectivity was only evident among populations of the endemic, A. mccullochi. This suggests higher dispersal between endemic anemonefish populations at both evolutionary and ecological timeframes, despite separation by hundreds of kilometers. The complex mtDNA structure results from historical hybridization and introgression in the evolutionary past of these species, validated by msat analyses (NEWHYBRIDS, STRUCTURE, and DAPC). Both species had high genetic diversities (mtDNA h > 0.90, π= 4.0%; msat genetic diversity, gd > 0.670). While high gd and connectivity reduce extinction risk, identifying and protecting populations implicated in generating reticulate structure among these species should be a conservation priority.

Item ID: 24581
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-7758
Keywords: Amphiprion; coral reef fish; endemism; extinction risk; Great Barrier Reef; isolated islands; Lord Howe Island
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2013 02:29
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961303 Protected Conservation Areas in Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 20%
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