Highly restricted dispersal in habitat-forming seaweed may impede natural recovery of disturbed populations
|Author(s)||Riquet Florentine1, 2, de Kuyper Christiane-Arnilda3, Fauvelot Cecile1, 2, Airoldi Laura4, 5, Planes Serge6, Fraschetti Simonetta7, 9, Macic Vesna8, 10, Milchakova Nataliya11, Mangialajo Luisa3, Bottin Lorraine3|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : Inst Rech Dev IRD, UMR ENTROPIE, Noumea, New Caledonia.
2 : Sorbonne Univ, CNRS, UMR LOV, Villefranche Sur Mer, France.
3 : Univ Cote dAzur, CNRS, UMR 7035 ECOSEAS, Nice, France.
4 : Univ Padua, Chioggia Hydrobiol Stn Umberto DAncona, Dept Biol, Chioggia, Italy.
5 : Univ Bologna, Dept Biol Geol & Environm Sci, UO CoNISMa, Ravenna, Italy.
6 : Univ Perpignan, PSL Res Univ, EPHE UPVD CNRS, USR 3278 CRIOBE, Perpignan, France.
7 : Univ Naples Federico II, Dept Biol, Naples, Italy.
8 : Staz Zoolog Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy.
9 : CoNISMa, Rome, Italy.
10 : Univ Crne Gore, Inst Biol Mora, Kotor, Montenegro.
11 : Kovalevsky Inst Biol Southern Seas RAS IBSS, Labo Phytoresources, Sevastopol, Russia.
|Source||Scientific Reports (2045-2322) (Nature Portfolio), 2021-08 , Vol. 11 , N. 1 , P. 16792 (15p.)|
|WOS© Times Cited||3|
Cystoseira sensu lato (Class Phaeophyceae, Order Fucales, Family Sargassaceae) forests play a central role in marine Mediterranean ecosystems. Over the last decades, Cystoseira s.l. suffered from a severe loss as a result of multiple anthropogenic stressors. In particular, Gongolaria barbata has faced multiple human-induced threats, and, despite its ecological importance in structuring rocky communities and hosting a large number of species, the natural recovery of G. barbata depleted populations is uncertain. Here, we used nine microsatellite loci specifically developed for G. barbata to assess the genetic diversity of this species and its genetic connectivity among fifteen sites located in the Ionian, the Adriatic and the Black Seas. In line with strong and significant heterozygosity deficiencies across loci, likely explained by Wahlund effect, high genetic structure was observed among the three seas (ENA corrected F-ST = 0.355, IC = [0.283, 0.440]), with an estimated dispersal distance per generation smaller than 600 m, both in the Adriatic and Black Sea. This strong genetic structure likely results from restricted gene flow driven by geographic distances and limited dispersal abilities, along with genetic drift within isolated populations. The presence of genetically disconnected populations at small spatial scales (< 10 km) has important implications for the identification of relevant conservation and management measures for G. barbata: each population should be considered as separated evolutionary units with dedicated conservation efforts.