Population structure and connectivity of the mountainous star coral, Orbicella faveolata, throughout the wider Caribbean region

John P. Rippe, Mikhail V. Matz, Elizabeth A. Green, Mónica Medina, Nida Z. Khawaja, Thanapat Pongwarin, Jorge H. Pinzón C, Karl D. Castillo, Sarah W. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As coral reefs continue to decline worldwide, it becomes ever more necessary to understand the connectivity between coral populations to develop efficient management strategies facilitating survival and adaptation of coral reefs in the future. Orbicella faveolata is one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean and has recently experienced severe population reductions. Here, we utilize a panel of nine microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure of O. faveolata and to infer connectivity across ten sites spanning the wider Caribbean region. Populations are generally well-mixed throughout the basin (FST = 0.038), although notable patterns of substructure arise at local and regional scales. Eastern and western populations appear segregated with a genetic break around the Mona Passage in the north, as has been shown previously in other species; however, we find evidence for significant connectivity between Curaçao and Mexico, suggesting that the southern margin of this barrier is permeable to dispersal. Our results also identify a strong genetic break within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System associated with complex oceanographic patterns that promote larval retention in southern Belize. Additionally, the diverse genetic signature at Flower Garden Banks suggests its possible function as a downstream genetic sink. The findings reported here are relevant to the ongoing conservation efforts for this important and threatened species, and contribute to the growing understanding of large-scale coral reef connectivity throughout the wider Caribbean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9234-9246
Number of pages13
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume7
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Fingerprint

population structure
connectivity
corals
coral
coral reef
coral reefs
reefs
barrier reef
Belize
genetic structure
garden
flower
threatened species
reef
gardens
Mexico
microsatellite repeats
basins
flowers
loci

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Rippe, John P. ; Matz, Mikhail V. ; Green, Elizabeth A. ; Medina, Mónica ; Khawaja, Nida Z. ; Pongwarin, Thanapat ; Pinzón C, Jorge H. ; Castillo, Karl D. ; Davies, Sarah W. / Population structure and connectivity of the mountainous star coral, Orbicella faveolata, throughout the wider Caribbean region. In: Ecology and Evolution. 2017 ; Vol. 7, No. 22. pp. 9234-9246.
@article{940ef6f8945b4f2da63b690bb5fe79f9,
title = "Population structure and connectivity of the mountainous star coral, Orbicella faveolata, throughout the wider Caribbean region",
abstract = "As coral reefs continue to decline worldwide, it becomes ever more necessary to understand the connectivity between coral populations to develop efficient management strategies facilitating survival and adaptation of coral reefs in the future. Orbicella faveolata is one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean and has recently experienced severe population reductions. Here, we utilize a panel of nine microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure of O. faveolata and to infer connectivity across ten sites spanning the wider Caribbean region. Populations are generally well-mixed throughout the basin (FST = 0.038), although notable patterns of substructure arise at local and regional scales. Eastern and western populations appear segregated with a genetic break around the Mona Passage in the north, as has been shown previously in other species; however, we find evidence for significant connectivity between Cura{\cc}ao and Mexico, suggesting that the southern margin of this barrier is permeable to dispersal. Our results also identify a strong genetic break within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System associated with complex oceanographic patterns that promote larval retention in southern Belize. Additionally, the diverse genetic signature at Flower Garden Banks suggests its possible function as a downstream genetic sink. The findings reported here are relevant to the ongoing conservation efforts for this important and threatened species, and contribute to the growing understanding of large-scale coral reef connectivity throughout the wider Caribbean.",
author = "Rippe, {John P.} and Matz, {Mikhail V.} and Green, {Elizabeth A.} and M{\'o}nica Medina and Khawaja, {Nida Z.} and Thanapat Pongwarin and {Pinz{\'o}n C}, {Jorge H.} and Castillo, {Karl D.} and Davies, {Sarah W.}",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1002/ece3.3448",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "7",
pages = "9234--9246",
journal = "Ecology and Evolution",
issn = "2045-7758",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "22",

}

Rippe, JP, Matz, MV, Green, EA, Medina, M, Khawaja, NZ, Pongwarin, T, Pinzón C, JH, Castillo, KD & Davies, SW 2017, 'Population structure and connectivity of the mountainous star coral, Orbicella faveolata, throughout the wider Caribbean region', Ecology and Evolution, vol. 7, no. 22, pp. 9234-9246. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3448

Population structure and connectivity of the mountainous star coral, Orbicella faveolata, throughout the wider Caribbean region. / Rippe, John P.; Matz, Mikhail V.; Green, Elizabeth A.; Medina, Mónica; Khawaja, Nida Z.; Pongwarin, Thanapat; Pinzón C, Jorge H.; Castillo, Karl D.; Davies, Sarah W.

In: Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 7, No. 22, 11.2017, p. 9234-9246.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Population structure and connectivity of the mountainous star coral, Orbicella faveolata, throughout the wider Caribbean region

AU - Rippe, John P.

AU - Matz, Mikhail V.

AU - Green, Elizabeth A.

AU - Medina, Mónica

AU - Khawaja, Nida Z.

AU - Pongwarin, Thanapat

AU - Pinzón C, Jorge H.

AU - Castillo, Karl D.

AU - Davies, Sarah W.

PY - 2017/11

Y1 - 2017/11

N2 - As coral reefs continue to decline worldwide, it becomes ever more necessary to understand the connectivity between coral populations to develop efficient management strategies facilitating survival and adaptation of coral reefs in the future. Orbicella faveolata is one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean and has recently experienced severe population reductions. Here, we utilize a panel of nine microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure of O. faveolata and to infer connectivity across ten sites spanning the wider Caribbean region. Populations are generally well-mixed throughout the basin (FST = 0.038), although notable patterns of substructure arise at local and regional scales. Eastern and western populations appear segregated with a genetic break around the Mona Passage in the north, as has been shown previously in other species; however, we find evidence for significant connectivity between Curaçao and Mexico, suggesting that the southern margin of this barrier is permeable to dispersal. Our results also identify a strong genetic break within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System associated with complex oceanographic patterns that promote larval retention in southern Belize. Additionally, the diverse genetic signature at Flower Garden Banks suggests its possible function as a downstream genetic sink. The findings reported here are relevant to the ongoing conservation efforts for this important and threatened species, and contribute to the growing understanding of large-scale coral reef connectivity throughout the wider Caribbean.

AB - As coral reefs continue to decline worldwide, it becomes ever more necessary to understand the connectivity between coral populations to develop efficient management strategies facilitating survival and adaptation of coral reefs in the future. Orbicella faveolata is one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean and has recently experienced severe population reductions. Here, we utilize a panel of nine microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure of O. faveolata and to infer connectivity across ten sites spanning the wider Caribbean region. Populations are generally well-mixed throughout the basin (FST = 0.038), although notable patterns of substructure arise at local and regional scales. Eastern and western populations appear segregated with a genetic break around the Mona Passage in the north, as has been shown previously in other species; however, we find evidence for significant connectivity between Curaçao and Mexico, suggesting that the southern margin of this barrier is permeable to dispersal. Our results also identify a strong genetic break within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System associated with complex oceanographic patterns that promote larval retention in southern Belize. Additionally, the diverse genetic signature at Flower Garden Banks suggests its possible function as a downstream genetic sink. The findings reported here are relevant to the ongoing conservation efforts for this important and threatened species, and contribute to the growing understanding of large-scale coral reef connectivity throughout the wider Caribbean.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85034658113&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85034658113&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/ece3.3448

DO - 10.1002/ece3.3448

M3 - Article

C2 - 29187964

AN - SCOPUS:85034658113

VL - 7

SP - 9234

EP - 9246

JO - Ecology and Evolution

JF - Ecology and Evolution

SN - 2045-7758

IS - 22

ER -