Location and disturbance affect population genetic structure in four coral species of the genus Acropora on the Great Barrier Reef
P Souter, BL Willis, LK Bay, MJ Caley, A Muirhead, MJH van Oppen
Marine Ecology Progress Series | INTER-RESEARCH | Published : 2010
The impact of a mass bleaching event on temporal and spatial population genetic structure in 4 scleractinian coral species in the Acropora aspera group was studied around the Palm Islands in the central Great Barrier Reef. Species status of sympatric populations of 2 of the 4 species, A. millepora and A. spathulata, was confirmed by the population genetic data; these species have recently been separated based on morphological and breeding characters. Spatial analyses of population samples from 2004 detected differences in the level of gene flow among locations. No significant genetic differentiation was inferred between conspecific populations at Orpheus and Pelorus Islands, which are both l..View full abstract
The corals in the study were sampled under GBRMPA permit no G99/441. The project was funded by the Marine Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF), the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), James Cook University (JCU) and the Australian Research Council (an ARC DP to B. L. W.). Thanks to the late T. van Rheede for his help with collection of the 1997 samples. The figures were created with the help of T. Simmonds.