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Travel with your kin ship! Insights from genetic sibship among settlers of a coral damselfish
  • Vanessa Robitzch,
  • Pablo Saenz-Agudelo,
  • Michael Berumen
Vanessa Robitzch
Universidad Austral de Chile
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Pablo Saenz-Agudelo
El Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales y Evolutivas
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Michael Berumen
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
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Peer review status:ACCEPTED

22 Feb 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
23 Feb 2020Submission Checks Completed
23 Feb 2020Assigned to Editor
24 Feb 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
31 Mar 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Apr 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
30 May 20201st Revision Received
01 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
01 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
01 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
02 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Accept

Abstract

Coral reef fish larvae are tiny, exceedingly numerous, and hard to track. They are also highly capable, equipped with swimming and sensory abilities that may influence their dispersal trajectories. Despite the importance of larval input to the dynamics of a population, we remain reliant on indirect insights to the processes influencing larval behaviour and transport. Here, we used genetic data (300 independent single nucleotide polymorphisms) derived from a light trap sample of a single recruitment event of Dascyllus abudafur in the Red Sea (N=168 settlers). We analysed the genetic composition of the larvae and assessed whether kinship among these was significantly different from random as evidence for cohesive dispersal during the larval phase. We simulated many iterations of similar-sized recruitment cohorts to compare the expected kinship composition relative to our empirical data. The high number of siblings within the empirical cohort strongly suggests cohesive dispersal among larvae. This work highlights the utility of kinship analysis as a means of inferring dynamics during the pelagic larval phase.