IDENTIFYING THE DRIVERS OF GENETIC STRUCTURE: A MULTI-SPECIES APPROACH
Angus Macdonald, Michael Schleyer, Johan Groeneveld, Maggie Reddy, Lourenco Zacarias, Ryan van Rooyen, Brent Chiazzari, Michelle Risi, Jyothi Kara, Phanor Montoya-Maya and Jessica Escobar-Porras
University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Life Sciences

 

Abstract
Marine animal populations of the south western Indian Ocean are being subjected to an increasingly large suite of anthropogenic insults. In addition to the direct effects of climate change, pollution and extraction of resources (fisheries) on these populations, the indirect and synergistic effects of these perturbations are beginning to be understood by researchers. The best practice for the preservation of these living resources is thought to be through the demarcation of areas containing populations of animals that may recover and the limiting of extraction effort in these areas; these areas are termed Marine Protected Areas. Identifying populations of organisms appropriate for this protection is not always intuitive. Genetic methods allow us to identify populations, species and lineages that are of importance. Phylogeographic patterns reflect the historical processes that lead to the partitioning of species and populations within species. These patterns may be tested further at time-scales that may be relevant to current resource users by employing population genetic methods. A suite of species from south western Indian Ocean coastal waters have been examined using both phylogeographic and population genetic techniques. The taxa chosen for this research are from various trophic levels in the coastal marine ecosystem and reflect multiple life strategies. All taxa indicate high levels of population structure at local scales. However, there was also evidence of regional connectivity of populations. This disparity may be explained either by habitat specificity or selection due to the local environment.
Presentation Topic
IDENTIFYING THE DRIVERS OF GENETIC STRUCTURE: A MULTI-SPECIES APPROACH
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EmailĀ Angus Macdonald