Spatial genetic patterns in lagoonal, reef-slope and island populations of the coral Platygyra daedalea in Kenya and Tanzania
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Considering the rapid degradation of coral reefs, it is becoming increasingly important to assess factors such as levels of intraspecific genetic diversity and degree of connectivity between populations and reefs. In this study, five DNA microsatellite markers were used to infer migration patterns and levels of genetic diversity in ten populations of the faviid coral Platygyra daedalea along the coast of East Africa. Populations from reef-slopes and offshore islands had significantly greater genetic diversity, measured as expected heterozygosity and allelic richness than those of inshore lagoonal reefs. A combination of F-statistics and individual assignment tests indicated moderate to high levels of gene flow among lagoonal populations, and less migration between lagoonal sites and the reef-slope and island sites. These results suggest that reef-slope and island reefs could be important reservoirs of genetic diversity for this coral species.
KeywordsPlatygyra daedalea Microsatellites Coral Indian Ocean Genetic diversity Connectivity
This study was funded by the Swedish development cooperation agency, Sida and undertaken with permits from the Kenya Wildlife Service and Mafia Island Marine National Park. Logistical support was provided by CORDIO-EA and the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Dar es Salaam. The map was created by B. Munywoki, at CORDIO-EA. O. Henriksson and N. Olsson provided valuable assistance. The manuscript benefited from comments made by D. Souter and three anonymous reviewers.
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