Population genetic structure and patterns of dispersal in the Giant Long-Armed Prawn, Macrobrachium lar (Fabricius, 1798) (Decapoda : Palaemonidae)

Hunter, Brena Elese (2011) Population genetic structure and patterns of dispersal in the Giant Long-Armed Prawn, Macrobrachium lar (Fabricius, 1798) (Decapoda : Palaemonidae). Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

The Giant Long-Armed Prawn, Macrobrachium lar is a freshwater species native to the Indo-Pacific. M. lar has a long-lived, passive, pelagic marine larval stage where larvae need to colonise freshwater within three months to complete their development. Dispersal is likely to be influenced by the extensive distances larvae must transit between small oceanic islands to find suitable freshwater habitat, and by prevailing east to west wind and ocean currents in the southern Pacific Ocean. Thus, both intrinsic and extrinsic factors are likely to influence wild population structure in this species.

The present study sought to define the contemporary broad and fine-scale population genetic structure of Macrobrachium lar in the south-western Pacific Ocean. Three polymorphic microsatellite loci were used to assess patterns of genetic variation within and among 19 wild adult sample sites. Statistical procedures that partition variation implied that at both spatial scales, essentially all variation was present within sample sites and differentiation among sites was low. Any differentiation observed also was not correlated with geographical distance. Statistical approaches that measure genetic distance, at the broad-scale, showed that all south-western Pacific Islands were essentially homogeneous, with the exception of a well supported divergent Cook Islands group. These findings are likely the result of some combination of factors that may include the potential for allelic homoplasy, through to the effects of sampling regime. Based on the findings, there is most likely a divergent M. lar Cook Islands clade in the south-western Pacific Ocean, resulting from prevailing ocean currents. Confirmation of this pattern will require a more detailed analysis of nDNA variation using a larger number of loci and, where possible, use of larger population sizes.

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ID Code: 46131
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Baker, Andrew & Mather, Peter
Keywords: freshwater prawn, M. lar, genetic structure, Pacific Islands, biogeographical patterns, dispersal, gene flow
Divisions: Past > Schools > Biogeoscience
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 23 Sep 2011 04:42
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2011 05:42

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