Data from: The Kuroshio Current influences genetic diversity and population genetic structure of a tropical seagrass, Enhalus acoroides
Nakajima, Yuichi et al. (2014), Data from: The Kuroshio Current influences genetic diversity and population genetic structure of a tropical seagrass, Enhalus acoroides, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.50hf0
Information on genetic diversity and differentiation of seagrass populations is essential for the conservation of coastal ecosystems. However, little is known about the seagrasses in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean, where the world's highest diversity of seagrasses occurs. The influence of sea currents on these populations is also unknown. We estimated the genetic diversity and population genetic structure and identified reproductive features in Enhalus acoroides populations from the Yaeyama Islands, Hainan Island and the Philippines. The Philippines are situated at the centre of the E. acoroides range, Yaeyama and Hainan are peripheral populations, and the Yaeyama population is at the northern limit of the species range. The powerful Kuroshio Current flows from the Philippines to Yaeyama. Genetic analyses using nine microsatellite markers indicated that reproduction of E. acoroides is mostly sexual. Clonal diversity does not decrease in northern populations, although genetic diversity does. However, the genetic diversity of the Yaeyama populations is greater than that of the Hainan populations. Significant genetic differentiation among most populations was evident; however, the Yaeyama and north-east Philippines populations were genetically similar, despite being separated by ~1100 km. An assignment test suggested that recruitment occurs from the north-east Philippines to Yaeyama. The strong current in this region is probably responsible for the extant genetic diversity and recruitment patterns.