Journal article

Local thermal adaptation and limited gene flow constrain future climate responses of a marine ecosystem engineer

Adam D Miller, Melinda A Coleman, Jennifer Clark, Rachael Cook, Zuraya Naga, Martina A Doblin, Ary A Hoffmann, Craig DH Sherman, Alecia Bellgrove



Rising ocean temperatures and extreme temperature events have precipitated declines and local extinctions in many marine species globally, but patterns of loss are often uneven across species ranges for reasons that are poorly understood. Knowledge of the extent of local adaptation and gene flow may explain such patterns and help predict future trajectories under scenarios of climate change. We test the extent to which local differentiation in thermal tolerance is influenced by gene flow and local adaptation using a widely distributed intertidal seaweed (Hormosira banksii) from temperate Australia. Population surveys across ~2,000 km of the species range revealed strong genetic structuring a..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was partially funded by Deakin University funding and Wettenhall Environment Trust awarded to A Miller and A Bellgrove, an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP0663550) awarded to M.A. Coleman, and UTS funding awarded to MA Doblin. We thank JB Pocklington, O Holland, E Cumming, and E Marks for assistance with sample collection for the common garden experiment; and BP Kelaher and MJ Bishop for assistance with sample collection for population genetics analysis. PF Francis (nee McKenzie) is acknowledged for early contributions to assessing the population genetics of H. banksii. GP Quinn is thanked for advice relating to statistical analyses, and M Young for assistance with geospatial aspects of the project.