Title

Hierarchical genetic structuring in the cool boreal kelp, Laminaria digitata: implications for conservation and management

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

ICES Journal of Marine Science

ISSN

10543139

Volume

77

Issue

5

First Page

1906

Last Page

1913

Publisher

Oxford University Press

School

Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research / School of Science

RAS ID

35240

Funders

British Phycological Society Marie Curie Career Integration Grant NERC/Newton Fun Latin American Biodiversity Programme UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship

Comments

King, N. G., McKeown, N. J., Smale, D. A., Bradbury, S., Stamp, T., Jüterbock, A., ... Moore, P. J. (2020). Hierarchical genetic structuring in the cool boreal kelp, Laminaria digitata: Implications for conservation and management. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 77(5), 1906-1913. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsaa055

Abstract

VC International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 2020. All rights reserved. Kelp are foundation species threatened by ongoing warming trends and increased harvesting pressure. This emphasizes the need to study genetic structure over various spatial scales to resolve demographic and genetic processes underpinning resilience. Here, we investigate the genetic diversity in the kelp, Laminaria digitata, in previously understudied southern (trailing-edge) and northern (range-centre) regions in the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean. There was strong hierarchical spatial structuring with significantly lower genetic variability and gene flow among southern populations. As these span the area of the Hurd’s deep Pleistocene glacial refuge, the current low variation likely reflects a fraction of previous levels that has been eroded at the species southern edge. Northern variability and private alleles also indicate contributions from cryptic northern glacial refugia. Contrary to expectations of a positive relationship between neutral genetic diversity and resilience, a previous study reported individuals from the same genetically impoverished southern populations to be better adapted to cope with thermal stress than northern individuals. This not only demonstrates that neutral genetic diversity may be a poor indicator of resilience to environmental stress but also confirms that extirpation of southern populations will result in the loss of evolved, not just potential, adaptations for resilience.

DOI

10.1093/icesjms/fsaa055

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