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Consequences of marine barriers for genetic diversity of the coral‐specialist yellowbar angelfish from the Northwestern Indian Ocean


Torquato, F and Range, P and Ben-Hamadou, R and Sigsgaard, EE and Thomsen, PF and Riera, R and Berumen, ML and Burt, JA and Feary, DA and Marshell, A and D'Augustino, D and DiBattista, JD and Moller, PR, Consequences of marine barriers for genetic diversity of the coral‐specialist yellowbar angelfish from the Northwestern Indian Ocean, Ecology and Evolution, 9, (19) pp. 11215-11226. ISSN 2045-7758 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

© 2019 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly sited.

DOI: doi:10.1002/ece3.5622


Ocean circulation, geological history, geographic distance, and seascape heterogeneity play an important role in phylogeography of coral-dependent fishes. Here, we investigate potential genetic population structure within the yellowbar angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus) across the Northwestern Indian Ocean (NIO). We then discuss our results with respect to the above abiotic features in order to understand the contemporary distribution of genetic diversity of the species. To do so, restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) was utilized to carry out population genetic analyses on P.†maculosus sampled throughout the speciesí distributional range. First, genetic data were correlated to geographic and environmental distances, and tested for isolation-by-distance and isolation-by-environment, respectively, by applying the Mantel test. Secondly, we used distance-based and model-based methods for clustering genetic data. Our results suggest the presence of two putative barriers to dispersal; one off the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula and the other off northern Somalia, which together create three genetic subdivisions of P.†maculosus within the NIO. Around the Arabian Peninsula, one genetic cluster was associated with the Red Sea and the adjacent Gulf of Aden in the west, and another cluster was associated with the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman in the east. Individuals sampled in Kenya represented a third genetic cluster. The geographic locations of genetic discontinuities observed between genetic subdivisions coincide with the presence of substantial upwelling systems, as well as habitat discontinuity. Our findings shed light on the origin and maintenance of genetic patterns in a common coral reef fish inhabiting the NIO, and reinforce the hypothesis that the evolution of marine fish species in this region has likely been shaped by multiple vicariance events.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:connectivity, coral reef fish, marine biogeography, phylogeography, Pomacanthus maculosus, seascape genomics
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Biogeography and phylogeography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Marshell, A (Dr Alyssa Marshell)
ID Code:150109
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2022-05-24
Last Modified:2022-09-29
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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