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The role of oceanic currents in the dispersal and connectivity of the mangrove Rhizophora mangle on the Southwest Atlantic region
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  • André Guilherme Madeira,
  • Yoshiaki Tsuda,
  • Yukio Nagano,
  • Takaya Iwasaki,
  • Maria Zucchi,
  • Tadashi Kajita,
  • Gustavo Mori
André Guilherme Madeira
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Yoshiaki Tsuda
University of Tsukuba
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Yukio Nagano
Saga University
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Takaya Iwasaki
Ochanomizu University
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Maria Zucchi
Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegocios
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Tadashi Kajita
University of the Ryukyus
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Gustavo Mori

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Dispersal is a crucial mechanism to living beings, allowing them to reach new resources such that populations and species can explore new environments. However, directly observing the dispersal mechanisms of widespread species can be costly or even impracticable, which is the case for mangrove trees. The influence of ocean currents on the mangroves’ propagules’ movement has been increasingly evident; however, few studies mechanistically relate the patterns of population distribution with the dispersal by oceanic currents under an integrated framework. Here, we evaluate the role of oceanic currents on dispersal and connectivity of Rhizophora mangle along the Southwest Atlantic. We inferred population genetic structure and migration rates based on single nucleotide polymorphisms, simulated the displacement of propagules along the region and tested our hypotheses with Mantel tests and redundancy analysis. We observed a two populations structure, north and south, which is corroborated by other studies with Rhizophora and other coastal plants. The inferred recent migration rates do not indicate gene flow between the sampled sites. Conversely, long-term migration rates were low across groups and contrasting dispersal patterns within each one, which is consistent with long-distance dispersal events. Our hypothesis tests suggests that both isolation by distance and isolation by oceanography (derived from the oceanic currents) can explain the neutral genetic variation of R. mangle in the region. Our findings expand current knowledge of mangrove connectivity and highlight how the association of molecular methods with oceanographic simulations improve the interpretation power of the dispersal process, which has ecological and evolutionary implications.
26 Nov 2022Submitted to Molecular Ecology Resources
01 Dec 2022Submission Checks Completed
01 Dec 2022Assigned to Editor
01 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
05 Dec 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
21 Feb 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
07 Apr 20231st Revision Received
08 Apr 2023Submission Checks Completed
08 Apr 2023Assigned to Editor
08 Apr 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
17 Apr 2023Editorial Decision: Accept