Potential and limits for rapid genetic adaptation to warming in a Great Barrier Reef coral

Matz, Mikhail V, Treml, Eric A, Aglyamova, Galina V and Bay, Line K 2018, Potential and limits for rapid genetic adaptation to warming in a Great Barrier Reef coral, PLoS genetics, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007220.

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Title Potential and limits for rapid genetic adaptation to warming in a Great Barrier Reef coral
Author(s) Matz, Mikhail V
Treml, Eric AORCID iD for Treml, Eric A orcid.org/0000-0003-4844-4420
Aglyamova, Galina V
Bay, Line K
Journal name PLoS genetics
Volume number 14
Issue number 4
Article ID e1007220
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2018-04-19
ISSN 1553-7390
1553-7404
Keyword(s) Great Barrier Reef
coral
genetic adaptation
sea surface warming
global warming
Acropora millepora
Summary Can genetic adaptation in reef-building corals keep pace with the current rate of sea surface warming? Here we combine population genomics, biophysical modeling, and evolutionary simulations to predict future adaptation of the common coral Acropora millepora on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Genomics-derived migration rates were high (0.1–1% of immigrants per generation across half the latitudinal range of the GBR) and closely matched the biophysical model of larval dispersal. Both genetic and biophysical models indicated the prevalence of southward migration along the GBR that would facilitate the spread of heat-tolerant alleles to higher latitudes as the climate warms. We developed an individual-based metapopulation model of polygenic adaptation and parameterized it with population sizes and migration rates derived from the genomic analysis. We find that high migration rates do not disrupt local thermal adaptation, and that the resulting standing genetic variation should be sufficient to fuel rapid region-wide adaptation of A. millepora populations to gradual warming over the next 20–50 coral generations (100–250 years). Further adaptation based on novel mutations might also be possible, but this depends on the currently unknown genetic parameters underlying coral thermal tolerance and the rate of warming realized. Despite this capacity for adaptation, our model predicts that coral populations would become increasingly sensitive to random thermal fluctuations such as ENSO cycles or heat waves, which corresponds well with the recent increase in frequency of catastrophic coral bleaching events.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007220
Field of Research 0604 Genetics
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2018, Matz et al
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30108562

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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