[Coral-List] New paper on deep-shallow connectivity

Xaymara Serrano xserrano at rsmas.miami.edu
Mon Mar 7 15:02:14 EST 2016

Dear coral-listers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following manuscript in the Nature’s journal Scientific Reports:

Title: Long distance dispersal and vertical gene flow in the Caribbean brooding coral Porites astreoides


To date, most assessments of coral connectivity have emphasized long-distance horizontal dispersal

of propagules from one shallow reef to another. The extent of vertical connectivity, however, remains

largely understudied. Here, we used newly-developed and existing DNA microsatellite loci for the

brooding coral Porites astreoides to assess patterns of horizontal and vertical connectivity in 590

colonies collected from three depth zones (≤10 m, 15–20 m and ≥25 m) at sites in Florida, Bermuda

and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). We also tested whether maternal transmission of algal symbionts

(Symbiodinium spp.) might limit effective vertical connectivity. Overall, shallow P. astreoides exhibited

high gene flow between Florida and USVI, but limited gene flow between these locations and Bermuda.

In contrast, there was significant genetic differentiation by depth in Florida (Upper Keys, Lower Keys

and Dry Tortugas), but not in Bermuda or USVI, despite strong patterns of depth zonation in algal

symbionts at two of these locations. Together, these findings suggest that P. astreoides is effective

at dispersing both horizontally and vertically despite its brooding reproductive mode and maternal

transmission of algal symbionts. In addition, these findings might help explain the ecological success

reported for P. astreoides in the Caribbean in recent decades.

You can access the paper here: www.nature.com/articles/srep21619<http://www.nature.com/articles/srep21619>

In the press:
UM researchers found shallow-water corals in Florida are not related to their deep-water counterparts
Florida's coral getting help from hundreds of miles away

Please direct any comments to xserrano at rsmas.miami.edu<mailto:xserrano at rsmas.miami.edu>


Xaymara M. Serrano, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
4301 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149
Phone (305) 361-4393

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