Coral Reefs

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 183–191 | Cite as

Population connectivity of the plating coral Agaricia lamarcki from southwest Puerto Rico

  • Nicholas M. Hammerman
  • Ramon E. Rivera-Vicens
  • Matthew P. Galaska
  • Ernesto Weil
  • Richard S. Appledoorn
  • Monica Alfaro
  • Nikolaos V. Schizas


Identifying genetic connectivity and discrete population boundaries is an important objective for management of declining Caribbean reef-building corals. A double digest restriction-associated DNA sequencing protocol was utilized to generate 321 single nucleotide polymorphisms to estimate patterns of horizontal and vertical gene flow in the brooding Caribbean plate coral, Agaricia lamarcki. Individual colonies (n = 59) were sampled from eight locations throughout southwestern Puerto Rico from six shallow (~ 10–20 m) and two mesophotic habitats (~ 30–40 m). Descriptive summary statistics (fixation index, F ST), analysis of molecular variance, and analysis through landscape and ecological associations and discriminant analysis of principal components estimated high population connectivity with subtle subpopulation structure among all sampling localities.


Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) Restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RADSeq) Population connectivity Puerto Rico Mesophotic coral ecosystem 



We thank Ivonne Bejarano, Milton Carlo, Michael Nemeth, Hector Ruiz, Clark Sherman, Evan Tuohy, Orlando Espinosa and Jaaziel Garcia for assistance in specimen collection. We acknowledge the constructive suggestions by Pim Bongaerts. This work was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (NA06NOS4780190), through the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute and Puerto Rico Sea Grant Project # R-101-1-14 awarded to NVS. We thank the ReFuGe 2020 Consortium, (C. Xin, P. Lundgren, C.R. Voolstra) for sharing unpublished data of Symbiodinium genomes with us. NH was the recipient of Sea Grant Puerto Rico SEED money (PD-313). Research permits were obtained from the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Puerto Rico (O-VS-PVS15-MA-00017-29092014).

Supplementary material

338_2017_1646_MOESM1_ESM.docx (90 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 89 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas M. Hammerman
    • 1
  • Ramon E. Rivera-Vicens
    • 1
  • Matthew P. Galaska
    • 2
  • Ernesto Weil
    • 1
  • Richard S. Appledoorn
    • 1
  • Monica Alfaro
    • 3
  • Nikolaos V. Schizas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine SciencesUniversity of Puerto Rico at MayagüezMayagüezUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of Puerto Rico at MayagüezMayagüezUSA

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