Data from: Geographic isolation and larval dispersal shape seascape genetic patterns differently according to spatial scale
Dalongeville, Alicia et al. (2018), Data from: Geographic isolation and larval dispersal shape seascape genetic patterns differently according to spatial scale, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.31tk592
Genetic variation, as a basis of evolutionary change, allows species to adapt and persist in different climates and environments. Yet, a comprehensive assessment of the drivers of genetic variation at different spatial scales is still missing in marine ecosystems. Here, we investigated the influence of environment, geographic isolation, and larval dispersal on the variation in allele frequencies, using an extensive spatial sampling (47 locations) of the striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus) in the Mediterranean Sea. Univariate multiple regressions were used to test the influence of environment (salinity and temperature), geographic isolation, and larval dispersal on Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) allele frequencies. We used Moran’s Eigenvector Maps (db-MEMs) and Asymmetric Eigenvector Maps (AEMs) to decompose geographic and dispersal distances in predictors representing different spatial scales. We found that salinity and temperature had only a weak effect on the variation in allele frequencies. Our results revealed the predominance of geographic isolation to explain variation in allele frequencies at large spatial scale (> 1,000km) while larval dispersal was the major predictor at smaller spatial scale (< 1,000km). Our findings stress the importance of including spatial scales to understand the drivers of spatial genetic variation. We suggest that larval dispersal allows to maintain gene flows at small to intermediate scale, while at broad scale, genetic variation may be mostly shaped by adult mobility, demographic history or multi-generational stepping stone dispersal. These findings bring out important spatial scale considerations to account for in the design of a protected areas network that would efficiently enhance protection and persistence capacity of marine species.