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|Title:||Dispersal and gene flow in the habitat-forming kelp, Ecklonia radiata: relative degrees of isolation across an east-west coastline|
|Citation:||Marine and Freshwater Research, 2009; 60(8):802-809|
|Publisher:||C S I R O Publishing|
|M. A. Coleman, B. M. Gillanders and S. D. Connell|
|Abstract:||Characterising patterns of dispersal and gene flow in habitat-forming organisms is becoming a focal concern for conservation and management strategies as anthropogenic impacts drive change in coastal ecosystems. Here, we use six microsatellite markers to characterise dispersal and gene flow across the South Australian distribution of the habitat-forming kelp Ecklonia radiata. Populations of E. radiata on subtidal reefs in South Australia were highly genetically structured on large (100s of km, FST = 0.211) and small (10s of km, FST = 0.042) spatial scales with the extent of differentiation positively correlated with geographic distances among populations. Neither the presence of oceanic currents nor intervening rocky reef habitats appeared to facilitate widespread gene flow. There was a trend for island populations to be more genetically differentiated from those on the mainland and to have slightly greater levels of heterozygosity than mainland populations. Our results show relatively low dispersal and gene flow suggesting that recovery following kelp loss may be slow. Such information not only provides insights into relative rates of recovery, but may also identify which populations may be best used for propagation and restoration efforts.|
|Keywords:||connectivity; genetic structure; subtidal reef.|
|Appears in Collections:||Earth and Environmental Sciences publications|
Environment Institute Leaders publications
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