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Ecological genetic connectivity between and within southeast African marginal coral reefs

The ecologically relevant (1 or 2 generations) connectivity of two broadcast-spawning corals, Acropora austera and Platygyra daedalea, was assessed on reefs in the region, from the Chagos Archipelago to Bazaruto Island in Mozambique to Sodwana Bay in South Africa, using hyper-variable genetic markers. The results support the hypothesis that there is demographic discontinuity between the coral populations along the south-east African coast. Similarly, genetic discontinuity observed in the area appears to be influenced by limited dispersal of larvae, inferred from significant spatial genetic structure found at the reefal scale. The management implications and recommendations of the findings are discussed.

Status: Completed, December 2013
Products: Four scientific manuscripts (3 published, 1 in preparation)
Organization & Location: ORI, South Africa
Keywords: Reef connectivity, Limited dispersal, MPA.

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