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The Eastern Tropical Pacific coral population connectivity and the role of the Eastern Pacific Barrier

Romero-Torres, Mauricio, Treml, Eric A., Acosta, Alberto and Paz-García, David A. 2018, The Eastern Tropical Pacific coral population connectivity and the role of the Eastern Pacific Barrier, Scientific reports, vol. 8, no. 1, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27644-2.

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Title The Eastern Tropical Pacific coral population connectivity and the role of the Eastern Pacific Barrier
Author(s) Romero-Torres, Mauricio
Treml, Eric A.ORCID iD for Treml, Eric A. orcid.org/0000-0003-4844-4420
Acosta, Alberto
Paz-García, David A.
Journal name Scientific reports
Volume number 8
Issue number 1
Article ID 9354
Total pages 13
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2018-06-19
ISSN 2045-2322
2045-2322
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
LONG-DISTANCE DISPERSAL
NINO-SOUTHERN OSCILLATION
EL-NINO
POCILLOPORA-DAMICORNIS
COMMUNITY STRUCTURE
MARINE POPULATIONS
LARVAL DISPERSAL
CLIPPERTON ATOLL
LOCAL RETENTION
STONY CORALS
Summary Long-distance dispersal is believed to strongly influence coral reef population dynamics across the Tropical Pacific. However, the spatial scale and strength at which populations are potentially connected by dispersal remains uncertain. To determine the patterns in connectivity between the Eastern (ETP) and Central Tropical Pacific (CTP) ecoregions, we used a biophysical model incorporating ocean currents and larval biology to quantify the seascape-wide dispersal potential among all population. We quantified the likelihood and determined the oceanographic conditions that enable the dispersal of coral larvae across the Eastern Pacific Barrier (EP-Barrier) and identified the main connectivity pathways and their conservation value for dominant reef-building corals. Overall, we found that coral assemblages within the CTP and ETP are weakly connected through dispersal. Although the EP-Barrier isolates the ETP from the CTP ecoregion, we found evidence that the EP-Barrier may be breached, in both directions, by rare dispersal events. These rare events could explain the evolutionary genetic similarity among populations of pocilloporids in the ecoregions. Moreover, the ETP may function as a stronger source rather than a destination, providing potential recruits to CTP populations. We also show evidence for a connectivity loop in the ETP, which may positively influence long-term population persistence in the region. Coral conservation and management communities should consider eight-key stepping stone ecoregions when developing strategies to preserve the long-distance connectivity potential across the ETP and CTP.
Language eng
DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-27644-2
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30113281

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.