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Larval swimming capacities affect genetic differentiation and range size in demersal marine fishes

Nanninga, Gerrit B and Manica, Andrea (2018) 'Larval swimming capacities affect genetic differentiation and range size in demersal marine fishes.' Marine Ecology: Progress Series, 589. 1 - 12. ISSN 0171-8630

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Dispersal is a fundamental process governing the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of any given species. Due to inherent challenges associated with measuring dispersal directly, identifying proxies for dispersal capacity has long been an active field of research across ecosystems. In marine systems, pelagic larval duration (PLD) has been one of the most widely used indicators of interspecific dispersal potential. The validity of this proxy, however, relies mostly on the assumption of entirely passive dispersal, a notion that has been challenged by findings of strong larval behavioural capabilities. Here, we assessed the effect of larval swimming capacities measured as mean critical swimming speed (U-crit) on emergent species-level properties related to dispersal potential, population genetic structure and global range size, in demersal marine fishes. In a meta-analytic framework, we tested the relative importance of U-crit versus other intrinsic (PLD, egg type, adult body size) and extrinsic (genetic marker type, study scale) predictors of isolation-by-distance slope, global FST and range size. U-crit showed stronger relationships with all emergent response variables than PLD and was consistently the most important predictor in multi-model inference. Our findings indicate that larval swimming capacities could serve as a powerful indicator of a species’ long-distance dispersal potential.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Larval dispersal · Critical swimming speed · Connectivity · Genetic structure · Isolation-by-distance · Range size
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2020 15:58
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2020 15:58

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