Limited contemporary gene flow and high self-replenishment drives peripheral isolation in an endemic coral reef fish

van der Meer, Martin H., Horne, John B., Gardner, Michael G., Hobbs, Jean-Paul A., Pratchett, Morgan, and van Herwerden, Lynne (2013) Limited contemporary gene flow and high self-replenishment drives peripheral isolation in an endemic coral reef fish. Ecology and Evolution, 3 (6). pp. 1653-1666.

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Extensive ongoing degradation of coral reef habitats worldwide has lead to declines in abundance of coral reef fishes and local extinction of some species. Those most vulnerable are ecological specialists and endemic species. Determining connectivity between locations is vital to understanding recovery and long-term persistence of these species following local extinction. This study explored population connectivity in the ecologically-specialized endemic three-striped butterflyfish (Chaetodon tricinctus) using mt and msatDNA (nuclear microsatellites) to distinguish evolutionary versus contemporary gene flow, estimate self-replenishment and measure genetic diversity among locations at the remote Australian offshore coral reefs of Middleton Reef (MR), Elizabeth Reef (ER), Lord Howe Island (LHI), and Norfolk Island (NI). Mt and msatDNA suggested genetic differentiation of the most peripheral location (NI) from the remaining three locations (MR, ER, LHI). Despite high levels of mtDNA gene flow, there is limited msatDNA gene flow with evidence of high levels of self-replenishment (≥76%) at all four locations. Taken together, this suggests prolonged population recovery times following population declines. The peripheral population (NI) is most vulnerable to local extinction due to its relative isolation, extreme levels of self-replenishment (95%), and low contemporary abundance.

Item ID: 28515
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-7758
Keywords: Chaetodon, coral reefs, ecological specialist, endemic species, extinction risk, Elizabeth-Middleton Reef, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, marine dispersal, population connectivity, evolutionary, contemporary, mtDNA, msatDNA, genetic diversity, peripheral isolation, self-replenishment
Funders: Envirofund Australia (Natural Heritage Trust) , Australian Department of the Environment and Water Resources, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Lord Howe Island Marine Park
Projects and Grants: CEO561435
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2013 23:05
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) @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060311 Speciation and Extinction @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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