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Open Access Patterns of population connectivity in marine organisms of Cuba

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Understanding of population genetics is important for the conservation and management of species and ecosystems, providing information on population structure, connectivity, and demography. Here, we review the genetic patterns and processes that shape the natural populations of marine organisms in Cuba, including penaeid shrimps, reef fishes, marine turtles, and bottlenose dolphins. Investigations performed over the last 20 yrs indicate three general patterns of population structure across the Cuban coast: a north-south break, an east-west split in the south, and local genetic differentiation. These patterns have been shaped by factors that include the size of the island, current patterns, lack of suitable habitats for reproduction, larval recruitment, and foraging behaviors. No single trait can predict dispersal and population structure across these diverse groups, but in every case, there are key life-history features that guide connectivity. These include limited larval dispersal in damselfishes and shrimps, social structure in dolphins, and natal homing in marine turtles. Population genetic partitions can reveal the boundaries of isolated ecosystems, guiding the design of marine protected areas.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Investigaciones Marinas, Universidad de La Habana, Calle 16, No. 114 entre 1ra y 3ra, Miramar, Playa, Havana 11300, Cuba;, Email: [email protected] 2: Centro de Investigaciones Marinas, Universidad de La Habana, Calle 16, No. 114 entre 1ra y 3ra, Miramar, Playa, Havana 11300, Cuba 3: Evolution, Génomes, Comportement & Ecologie, CNRS, IRD, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 75205 Paris, France

Publication date: April 1, 2018

This article was made available online on December 19, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Patterns of population connectivity in marine organisms of Cuba".

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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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