Connectivity and populations of economically important reef species
Hundred Islands National Park, The Philippines (V Baria)

Led by Dosette Pante, this project aims to explore these research questions:

  • Are there distinct spatial patterns of community structuring of reef-associated rabbitfish in the reef areas in Bolinao and adjacent localities?

  • Do natural environmental phenomena such as seasonal monsoon winds and oceanographic processes influence the community structuring of these species in Bolinao and adjacent localities?

  • Are the different methods for determining genetic structuring concordant in the model species being studied?

Progress to date includes:

  • Initial results of microsatellite analyses suggest significant genetic differentiation among populations and a putative partitioning of six populations into three genetically distinct groups among the study sites. However, morphometric analysis, performed to analyse population differentiation of S. fuscescens collected in 2005 and 2006, suggest that morphometric methods might not be powerful enough to differentiate among S. fuscescens populations as this method relies on morphological differences on the body shape.

  • A genomic library containing 180 clones was generated. Out of these clones 60 were screened for putative microsatellite markers. Thirteen primers were designed for amplification and testing for polymorphisms of which eight initially showed polymorphisms and were tested for Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium.

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