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Population genetics in Octopus pallidus


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Higgins, KL 2010 , 'Population genetics in Octopus pallidus', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Dispersal is an important factor in population demographics, and therefore
understanding dispersal is important for population management. In marine
environments, the presence or absence of pelagic larvae is considered an important
factor determining the dispersal capacity of an organism. Organisms with pelagic
larvae that spend long periods in the plankton are considered to have high dispersal
capacities, while organisms with no pelagic larval phase (direct development) are
considered to have very low dispersal capabilities and therefore highly structured
populations. Dispersal is often difficult to observe directly, however the use of natural
chemical markers has enabled organisms to be traced back to their place of origin.
The other primary method by which dispersal can be inferred is by population genetic
analyses, which can provide information on the differentiation of populations and
therefore how much dispersal has occurred between them. The most informative
analyses use a combination of approaches to provide a more comprehensive
assessment of dispersal. This study determines population genetic variation of the . .
benthic cephalopod Octopus pallidus over spatial and temporal scales using
microsatellite markers. Octopus pallidus populations were found to be spatially
structured at larger (> 300km) scales and homogenous at smaller scales, consistent
with isolation by distance. Allele frequencies of populations were temporally stable.
Genetic analyses suggested greater levels of dispersal than a previous stylet
microchemistry study on this species, which reflects the differing sensitivities of the
two approaches. Isolation by distance is likely to be more important in determining
population structure in organisms with direct development, as species with plallktonic
stages are more strongly affected by oceanography and larval behaviour, as
demonstrated by previous research on the sympatric Octopus maorum.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Higgins, KL
Keywords: Octopus
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2010 the author

Additional Information:

Available for use in the Library and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (BMarSc)--University of Tasmania, 2010. Includes bibliographical references

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