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Title: The conservation genetics of ecologically and commercially important coral reef species
Author: Truelove, Nathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 6854
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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Identifying the extent to which coral reef species are connected by dispersal is a fundamental challenge for developing marine conservation strategies. Many coral reef species are relatively sedentary as adults, yet have a pelagic larval phase where larvae can potentially be widely dispersed by ocean currents. This thesis focuses on the role of ocean currents in driving spatially explicit patterns of population connectivity among ecologically and commercially important coral reef species by combining research tools from population genetics, oceanography, and biophysical modeling. Despite the substantial differences among the life histories of each coral reef species in this thesis, some similarities in connectivity patterns were found among all species. The results of the kinship and genetic outlier analyses consistently found high levels of connectivity among distant populations separated by hundreds to thousands of kilometers. Despite the high levels of connectivity among distant populations, there was substantial variation in gene flow among the populations of each species. The findings of this thesis highlight the importance of international cooperation for the sustainable management of ecologically and commercially important coral reef species in the Caribbean. In conclusion, the findings of this thesis suggest that marine conservation strategies should conservatively plan for uncertainty, particularly since the many of ecological and physical drivers of connectivity among coral reef species in the Caribbean remain uncertain.
Supervisor: Preziosi, Richard; Duffy, Rosaleen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Spiny Lobster ; Population Genetics ; Microsatellites ; Yellowtail Snapper ; Connectivity ; Marine Protected Areas ; Ocean Currents