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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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A section of the coast of Australia where a seascape genetic analysis of the snail Nerita atramentosa revealed particularly strong on-shelf larval retention (red: boundary currents; black: on-shelf currents). Image: L. Beheregaray, E. van Sebille, P. Teske

Teske PR, Sandoval-Castillo J, van Sebille E, Waters J, Beheregaray LB


On-shelf larval retention limits population connectivity in a coastal broadcast spawner


Boundary currents are often considered to be the main drivers of connectivity among populations of coastal animals. Teske and co-workers combined population genetic data from a southern Australian snail that has a very long planktonic larval duration with simulations of connectivity based on oceanographic data. They show that most propagules never reach the region's boundary currents, and few of those that do will return to the coast to settle. Retention of larvae on the continental shelf results in a strong range-wide correlation between genetic and geographic distance, a pattern that is usually only found in species with much lower dispersal potential.


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