Journal article

Revisiting the connectivity puzzle of the common coral Pocillopora damicornis

G Torda, P Lundgren, BL Willis, MJH Van Oppen

MOLECULAR ECOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2013


Understanding levels of connectivity among scleractinian coral populations over a range of temporal and spatial scales is vital for managing tropical coral reef ecosystems. Here, we use multilocus microsatellite genotypes to assess the spatial genetic structure of two molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs, types α and β) of the widespread coral Pocillopora damicornis on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and infer the extent of connectivity on spatial scales spanning from local habitat types to latitudinal sectors of the GBR. We found high genetic similarities over large spatial scales spanning > 1000 km from the northern to the southern GBR, but also strong genetic differentiation at local..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Marine Tropical Research Facility

Funding Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the helpful staff of Lizard Island and Orpheus Island research stations. Field assistance was provided by JB Raina, Y Sato, J van Dam, C van den Boogard, F Seneca, S Noonan, S Schmidt-Roach, D Simonson, A Moya, A Paley, L Huisman, F Velema, E Bogaerts, D Jones, A Schmidt-Roach, T Kath, M Takahashi, C Schmidt, C Pfeffer, M Fynes, J van de Water, T Mannering, L Kelly, N Hassell, E Botte, D Loong, P Cross, J Koburg, J Lamb, P Warner and V Lukoschek. We thank L Peplow for her assistance in the genetic labwork. GT was supported by an Australian International Postgraduate Research Fellowship, a James Cook University Postgraduate Research Fellowship and an AIMS@JCU fellowship. The project was funded by the Marine Tropical Research Facility (project 2.5i.3 extension 's'). Samples were collected under permit number G08/28215.1.