Is post-bleaching recovery of Acropora hyacinthus on Palau via spread of local kin groups?
MetadataShow full item record
Palau suffered massive mortality of reef corals during the 1998 mass bleaching, and understanding recovery from that catastrophic loss is critical to management for future impacts. Many reef species have shown significant genetic structure at small scales while apparently absent at large scales, a pattern often referred to as chaotic genetic patchiness. Here we use hierarchical sampling of population structure scored from a panel of microsatellite markers for the coral Acropora hyacinthus across the islands of Yap, Ngulu and Palau to evaluate hypotheses about the mechanisms of previously described chaotic genetic structure. As with previous studies, we find no isolation-by-distance within or between the three islands and high genetic structure between sites separated by as little as ~ 10 km on Palau. Using kinship among individual colonies, however, we find higher mean pairwise relatedness coefficients among individuals within sampling sites. Comparing population structure among hierarchical sampling scales, we show that the pattern of chaotic genetic patchiness reported previously appears to derive from genetic patches of local kin groups at small spatial scales. Genetic distinction of Palau from neighboring islands and high kinship among individuals within these kinship neighborhoods implies that the coral reefs of Palau apparently recovered through a mosaic of rare thermally tolerant colonies that survived the 1998 mass bleaching and are now spreading and recolonizing reefs as local kin groups. This pattern of recovery on Palau gives us a better understanding for effective coral reef conservation strategies in which protecting these rare survivors wherever they occur, rather than specific areas of reef habitat, is critical to increase coral reef resilience.
© The Author(s), 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Cros, A., Toonen, R., & Karl, S. A. Is post-bleaching recovery of Acropora hyacinthus on Palau via spread of local kin groups? Coral Reefs, (2020), doi:10.1007/s00338-020-01961-3.
Suggested CitationCros, A., Toonen, R., & Karl, S. A. (2020). Is post-bleaching recovery of Acropora hyacinthus on Palau via spread of local kin groups? Coral Reefs.
The following license files are associated with this item:
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Transect data of coral species and other substrate types collected in the field using line transects in Palau and Yap in 2017 and in the Federated States of Micronesia in 2018 van Woesik, Robert (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 2020-10-12)As part of the reef-composition survey of Palau (7°30' N, 134°30' E) and Yap (9°32' N, 138°7' E), 10-meter long, 2 to 5-meter depth transects were conducted. Coral species along the transect were recorded along with substrate ...
St. Laurent, Louis C.; Ijichi, Takashi; Merrifield, Sophia T.; Shapiro, Justin; Simmons, Harper L. (Oceanography Society, 2019-12-11)The interaction of flow with steep island and ridge topography at the Palau island chain leads to rich vorticity fields that generate a cascade of motions. The energy transfer to small scales removes energy from the ...