Event Abstract

Disentangling biological variables affecting population structure and genetic connectivity

  • 1 Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida, MARE—Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Portugal

Evaluating and understanding the evolutionary dynamics of divergent populations is of paramount importance for both fisheries management and conservation strategies. Nevertheless, direct measurement of marine organisms’ dispersal capabilities can be highly challenging at broad spatial scales. Despite the traditional use of genetic approaches to quantify demographic connectivity, the difficulty to distinguish contemporary from historical connectivity remains. In this study, we aim to disentangle the various biological factors affecting population structure in marine fishes from the Northeastern Atlantic. This work included most of the phylogeography studies available in scientific search engines, encompassing a wide geographical area and using both genetic and genomic data. We did a meta-analysis using exploratory factorial followed by several regression analyses to reveal potential emerging patterns. The fixation index (FST) obtained in the literature was compared against several independent biogeographical, ecological and life-history variables. Despite the lack of available data for several parameters, our results refute general expectations, conventional wisdom and several papers, that PLD and early life-history traits are good predictors of population structure in marine organisms. In fact, the Type of Genetic Marker (mitochondrial, nuclear, microsatellite) and Adult Ability to Dispersal (weak, good or strong) were found to be determinant for significant FST and population structure. These results point to the need of future intercomparable studies with larger species numbers and including marine organisms with distinct life-history traits, which would significantly enrich the present approach and have a huge potential for marine protected areas design and management.

Keywords: population structure, Genetic connectivity, fish, Northeastern Atlantic, Meta-analysis

Conference: IMMR'18 | International Meeting on Marine Research 2018, Peniche, Portugal, 5 Jul - 6 Jul, 2018.

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Topic: Biodiversity, Conservation and Coastal Management

Citation: Francisco SM, Pereira AM and Robalo JI (2019). Disentangling biological variables affecting population structure and genetic connectivity. Front. Mar. Sci. Conference Abstract: IMMR'18 | International Meeting on Marine Research 2018. doi: 10.3389/conf.FMARS.2018.06.00139

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Received: 19 Apr 2018; Published Online: 07 Jan 2019.

* Correspondence: Dr. Sara M Francisco, Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida, MARE—Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Lisbon, , 1149-041, Portugal, sara_francisco@ispa.pt

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