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Genetic analyses reveal limited dispersal and recovery potential in the large freshwater crayfish Euastacus armatus from the southern Murray-Darling Basin

Whiterod, Nick S., Zukowski, Sylvia, Asmus, Martin, Gilligan, Dean and Miller, Adam D. 2016, Genetic analyses reveal limited dispersal and recovery potential in the large freshwater crayfish Euastacus armatus from the southern Murray-Darling Basin, Marine and freshwater research, In Press, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.1071/MF16006.

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Title Genetic analyses reveal limited dispersal and recovery potential in the large freshwater crayfish Euastacus armatus from the southern Murray-Darling Basin
Author(s) Whiterod, Nick S.
Zukowski, Sylvia
Asmus, Martin
Gilligan, Dean
Miller, Adam D.
Journal name Marine and freshwater research
Season In Press
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Clayton, Vic.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1323-1650
Keyword(s) gene flow
genetic diversity
population fragmentation
population structure
recolonisation
spatial autocorrelation
Summary Understanding dispersal traits and adaptive potential is critically important when assessing the vulnerability of freshwater species in highly modified ecosystems. The present study investigates the population genetic structure of the Murray crayfish Euastacus armatus in the southern Murray–Darling Basin. This species has suffered significant population declines in sections of the Murray River in recent years, prompting the need for information on natural recruitment processes to help guide conservation. We assessed allele frequencies from 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci across 20 sites encompassing the majority of the species’ range. Low levels of gene flow were observed throughout hydrologically connected waterways, but significant spatial autocorrelation and low migration rate estimates reflect local genetic structuring and dispersal limitations, with home ranges limited to distances <50-km. Significant genetic differentiation of headwater populations upstream of barriers imposed by impoundments were also observed; however, population simulations demonstrate that these patterns likely reflect historical limitations to gene flow rather than contemporary anthropogenic impacts. Dispersal limitations, coupled with its biological traits, suggest that local populations are vulnerable to environmental disturbance with limited potential for natural recolonisation following population decline. We discuss the implications of these findings in the context of managing the recovery of the species.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/MF16006
Field of Research 060204 Freshwater Ecology
060408 Genomics
060808 Invertebrate Biology
050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
Socio Economic Objective 960807 Fresh
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, CSIRO
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30088747

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