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Fine scale population structure of Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis in the Colombian Caribbean

García-Urueña, Rocio and Kitchen, Sheila A. and Schizas, Nikolaos V. (2022) Fine scale population structure of Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis in the Colombian Caribbean. PeerJ, 10 . Art. No. e13854. ISSN 2167-8359. doi:10.7717/peerj.13854.

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Using a standardized SNP array, we identified two populations of Acropora cervicornis and one population of A. palmata in the Caribbean coast of Colombia. San Andrés was the most genetically differentiated location for both species. An average pairwise FST value of 0.131 and 0.050 between San Andrés and neighboring collection sites was estimated, for A. cervicornis and A. palmata, respectively. Based on population patterns of both acroporid species, we inferred that Magdalena River is not a barrier of genetic connectivity among Colombian populations. Genetic comparisons between the Colombian coast of Caribbean with other Caribbean locations agree with previous studies for both species, where four populations were identified in A. cervicornis and three in A. palmata. Our results support published bio-physical model predictions and highlight the Panama-Colombia gyre as a possible isolating mechanism within the western Caribbean. However, the genetic diversity in both species was about half (mean HE per site = 0.321 in A. palmata and 0.369 in A. cervicornis) than previous estimates in acroporid populations in the Caribbean. The lower genetic diversity as well their relative isolation and high levels of reef degradation may be of particular conservation concern that may require species-specific management coupled with science-based restoration efforts.

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Kitchen, Sheila A.0000-0003-4402-8139
Additional Information:This work was funded by the project "Acropora: a key genus for conservation. Genetic diversity, connectivity and ecological updating of Acropora populations in the Colombian Caribbean" COLCIENCIAS (code 11177141011) and the University of Magdalena. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The following grant information was disclosed by the authors: Acropora: a key genus for conservation. COLCIENCIAS: 11177141011. University of Magdalena.
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Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (COLCIENCIAS)11177141011
University of MagdalenaUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220909-233331000
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:116893
Deposited By: Olivia Warschaw
Deposited On:11 Sep 2022 19:35
Last Modified:11 Sep 2022 19:35

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