The role of deep reefs in shallow reef recovery: an assessment of vertical connectivity in a brooding coral from west and east Australia
Madeleine JH van Oppen, Pim Bongaerts, Jim N Underwood, Lesa M Peplow, Timothy F Cooper
Molecular Ecology | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2011
Approximately one quarter of zooxanthellate coral species have a depth distribution from shallow waters (<30 m) down to mesophotic depths of 30-60 m. The deeper populations of such species are less likely to be affected by certain environmental perturbations, including high temperature/high irradiance causing coral bleaching. This has led to the hypothesis that deep populations may serve as refuges and a source of recruits for shallow reef habitats. The extent of vertical connectivity of reef coral species, however, is largely unquantified. Using 10 coral host microsatellite loci and sequences of the host mtDNA putative control region, as well as ribosomal DNA (rDNA) ITS2 sequences of the co..View full abstract
This study was supported by funding from Woodside Energy Ltd (as operator of the Browse LNG Development), the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. We thank the crew of the RV Solander, L. Vail from the Lizard Island Research Station, D. Whillas for technical assistance with the ROV and A. Muirhead for conducting the Scott Reef mtDNA sequence analysis.