Poster Australian Marine Sciences Association 2022

A genetics perspective - dispersal of Southern Ocean benthic invertebrates in a changing environment (#512)

Nicola Rodewald 1 , Nerida G. Wilson 2 3 4 , Sally C. Y. Lau 1 5 , Jan M. Strugnell 1 5 6
  1. Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture and College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  2. Collections & Research, Western Australian Museum, Walshpool, Western Australia, Australia
  3. Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future, Western Australian Museum, Welshpool, Western Australia, Australia
  4. School of Biological Sciences , University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  5. Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  6. Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution, School of Life Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Southern Ocean benthic invertebrate species have survived glacial-interglacial cycles throughout the Quaternary. The dispersal ability of species has helped shape their current genetic structure. Modelling current and potential future dispersal pathways of these species is difficult, as dispersal facilitators and barriers are dynamic in response to environmental changes. Many identified Southern Ocean benthic invertebrate species are direct developers and are thus predicted to have poor dispersal potential. Despite this, there is increasing evidence for gene flow and dispersal facilitators over large distances in direct developing species. We synthesised existing literature to explore how direct developers disperse across the Southern Ocean and identify genetic methods to interrogate these signatures. We also examined the evidence for shared dispersal facilitators and barriers across taxa. This synthesis provides an insight into the dispersal processes behind source and sink populations in the Southern Ocean, as well as determining whether the current bioregion boundaries reflect the present-day genetic signatures.