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Title: Combining genetic and demographic data for the conservation of a Mediterranean habitat-forming species
Author: Arizmendi-Mejía, Rosana
Linares Prats, Cristina
Garrabou Vancells, Joaquim
Antunes, Agostinho
Ballesteros, Enric
Cebrian Pujol, Emma
Díaz Viñolas, David
Ledoux, Jean-Baptiste
Keywords: Demografia
Ecologia marina
Mediterrània (Mar)
Marine ecology
Mediterranean Sea
Issue Date: 16-Mar-2015
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Abstract: The integration of ecological and evolutionary data is highly valuable for conservation planning. However, it has been rarely used in the marine realm, where the adequate design of marine protected areas (MPAs) is urgently needed. Here, we examined the interacting processes underlying the patterns of genetic structure and demographic strucuture of a highly vulnerable Mediterranean habitat-forming species (i.e. Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826)), with particular emphasis on the processes of contemporary dispersal, genetic drift, and colonization of a new population. Isolation by distance and genetic discontinuities were found, and three genetic clusters were detected; each submitted to variations in the relative impact of drift and gene flow. No founder effect was found in the new population. The interplay of ecology and evolution revealed that drift is strongly impacting the smallest, most isolated populations, where partial mortality of individuals was highest. Moreover, the eco-evolutionary analyses entailed important conservation implications for P. clavata. Our study supports the inclusion of habitat-forming organisms in the design of MPAs and highlights the need to account for genetic drift in the development of MPAs. Moreover, it reinforces the importance of integrating genetic and demographic data in marine conservation.
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It is part of: PLoS One, 2015, vol. 10, num. 3, p. e0119585-e0119585
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ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)

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