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Genetic and biophysical models help define marine conservation focus areas

Mertens, Lisa E. A., Treml, Eric A. and von der Heyden, Sophie 2018, Genetic and biophysical models help define marine conservation focus areas, Frontiers in marine science, vol. 5, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00268.

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Title Genetic and biophysical models help define marine conservation focus areas
Author(s) Mertens, Lisa E. A.
Treml, Eric A.ORCID iD for Treml, Eric A. orcid.org/0000-0003-4844-4420
von der Heyden, Sophie
Journal name Frontiers in marine science
Volume number 5
Article ID 268
Total pages 10
Publisher Frontiers Media
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publication date 2018-08-06
ISSN 2296-7745
Summary Ecological and environmental variables play a major role in the genetic structure of marine populations, but how oceanography affects their dispersal and associated connectivity remains far from being understood. To account for the effect of different dispersal strategies in terms of pelagic larvae and non-pelagic reproduction, we utilize the power of comparative phylogeographic analyses of five phylogenetically and functionally diverse intertidal species along the west coast of South Africa using population genetics and biophysical models within the Benguela Current system. Some broadcast spawners exhibit genetic panmixia, others show genetic structure similar to direct-developing species, suggesting complex recruitment patterns in rocky shore environments. Patterns of genetic structure do not correspond with pelagic larval competency period, with a broadcast spawning urchin displaying the highest levels of population structure. Biophysical models of larval dispersal reveal mixed dispersal patterns, with the strongest connections in a northward direction following the Benguela Current, yet most modeled species also show the capacity for southward (albeit weaker) migration among some sample localities. Some sites, particularly the most northern areas, show very low levels of potential connectivity. Lastly, we synthesized our results to highlight key areas for the development of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that capture the evolutionary patterns of marine species of the west coast and find that the results from our molecular and biophysical analyses are coherent with previous suggestions for a network of protected areas.
Language eng
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2018.00268
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, Mertens, Treml and von der Heyden
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30114102

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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.