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Asymmetric connectivity of the lobster Panulirus pascuensis in remote islands of the southern Pacific: importance for its management and conservation

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Understanding patterns of marine connectivity in oceanic islands is a fundamental element for conservation and management of fished species. In the present study, the level of connectivity of the endemic lobster Panulirus pascuensis Reed, 1954 from remote islands in the southern Pacific Ocean was estimated, focusing on the Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park (MMH), considered here as a source of recruits to Easter Island. The connectivity of adult lobster populations between Eastern Island (EI) and Salas y Gómez Island (SG), in the center of MMH, was studied by quantifying the reciprocal migration rates using variability of microsatellite loci and a biophysical individual-based model of larval transport based on the outputs of a regional high-resolution oceanic model. Considering a system composed only of adult populations located in both islands, the genetic analysis showed that 3% of the adults from EI came from SG; however, only 0.02% in the opposite direction. Neglecting the effect of other islands (e.g., Pitcairn Island located at 2000 km west of EI), the self-recruitment was estimated at 97% in EI and 99.8% in SG. The results of the Lagrangian analysis of the oceanic model simulations are consistent with the concept of asymmetric connectivity, although there is appreciable variation in recruitment among years. Both genetic and oceanographic approaches revealed large variance in connectivity from SG to EI. The asymmetric connectivity from SG to EI emphasizes the importance of the MMH Marine Park for lobster conservation in SG, and that it also supports recruitment of P. pascuensis to EI.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas (CEAZA), Coquimbo, Chile, Millennium Nucleus for Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands (ESMOI), Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile;, Email: [email protected] 2: Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas (CEAZA), Coquimbo, Chile, Millennium Nucleus for Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands (ESMOI), Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile, Centro Universitario Región Este, Universidad de la Republica, Rocha, Uruguay 3: Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas (CEAZA), Coquimbo, Chile, Millennium Nucleus for Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands (ESMOI), Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile, Departamento de Biología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile, Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales, Toulouse, France 4: Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile 5: Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas (CEAZA), Coquimbo, Chile, Millennium Nucleus for Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands (ESMOI), Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile, Departamento de Biología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile 6: Millennium Nucleus for Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands (ESMOI), Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile, Departamento de Biología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile 7: Departamento de Biología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile 8: Dirección de Oceanografía Naval, Instituto Oceanográfico de la Armada, Guayaquil, Ecuador, Programa de Postgrado en Oceanografía, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanográficas, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile 9: Millennium Nucleus for Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands (ESMOI), Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile, Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile

Publication date: 01 July 2018

This article was made available online on 25 May 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Asymmetric connectivity of the lobster Panulirus pascuensis in remote islands of the southern Pacific: importance for its management and conservation".

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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