[Coral-List] New Acropora palmata manuscript

Pascal Mège pascal.mege at gmail.com
Fri Feb 21 03:31:02 EST 2014

Dear listers,

for those interested, I would like to advertise our new manuscript in
Marine Ecology, dealing with the population genetics of elkhorn coral,
Acropora palmata.



It has been proposed that the elkhorn coral Acropora palmata is genetically
separated into two distinct provinces in the Caribbean, an eastern and a
western population admixing in Western Puerto Rico and around the Mona
Passage. In this study, the genetic structure of A. palmata sampled at 11
Puerto Rican localities and localities from Curaçao, the Bahamas and
Guadeloupe were examined. Analyses using five microsatellite markers showed
that 75% of sampled colonies had unique genotypes, the rest being clone
mates. Genetic diversity among genets was high (HE = 0.761) and consistent
across localities (0.685-0.844). FST ranged from -0.011 to 0.047,
supporting low but significant genetic differentiation between localities
within the previously reported eastern and western genetic provinces. Plots
of genetic per geographic distances and significant Mantel tests supported
isolation-by-distance (IBD) within Puerto Rico. Analysis with the software
STRUCTURE favored a scenario with weak differentiation between two
populations, assigning Eastern Puerto Rican locations (Fajardo and
Culebra), Guadeloupe and Curaçao to the Caribbean eastern population and
Western Puerto Rican locations (west of Vega Baja and Ponce), Mona and the
Bahamas to the Caribbean western population. Vieques and San Juan area
harbored admixed profiles. Standardized FST per 1000 km unit further
supported higher differentiation between localities belonging to different
STRUCTURE populations, with IBD being stronger within Puerto Rico than on
larger regional scales. This stronger genetic transition seems to separate
localities between putative eastern and western provinces in the Eastern
Puerto Rican region, but not around the Mona Passage.

Pascal Mège

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