M. Wesselmann, M. González-Wangüemert, E.A. Serrão, A.H. Engelen, L. Renault, J.R. García-March, C.M. Duarte, I.E. Hendriks
Scientific Reports, volume 8, Article number: 4770, (2018)
For marine meta-populations with source-sink dynamics knowledge about genetic connectivity is important to conserve biodiversity and design marine protected areas (MPAs). We evaluate connectivity of a Mediterranean sessile species, Pinna nobilis. To address a large geographical scale, partial sequences of cytochrome oxidase I (COI, 590 bp) were used to evaluate phylogeographical patterns in the Western Mediterranean, and in the whole basin using overlapping sequences from the literature (243 bp). Additionally, we combined (1) larval trajectories based on oceanographic currents and early life-history traits and (2) 10 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci collected in the Western Mediterranean. COI results provided evidence for high diversity and low inter-population differentiation. Microsatellite genotypes showed increasing genetic differentiation with oceanographic transport time (isolation by oceanographic distance (IBD) set by marine currents). Genetic differentiation was detected between Banyuls and Murcia and between Murcia and Mallorca. However, no genetic break was detected between the Balearic populations and the mainland. Migration rates together with numerical Lagrangian simulations showed that (i) the Ebro Delta is a larval source for the Balearic populations (ii) Alicante is a sink population, accumulating allelic diversity from nearby populations. The inferred connectivity can be applied in the development of MPA networks in the Western Mediterranean.