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SNP analyses reveal a diverse pool of potential colonists to earthquake‐uplifted coastlines

Cite this dataset

Peters, Johnette; Waters, Jonathan; Dutoit, Ludovic; Fraser, Ceridwen (2019). SNP analyses reveal a diverse pool of potential colonists to earthquake‐uplifted coastlines [Dataset]. Dryad.


In species that form dense populations, major disturbance events are expected to increase the chance of establishment for immigrant lineages. Real-time tests of the impact of disturbance on patterns of genetic structure are, however, scarce. Central to testing these concepts is determining the pool of potential immigrants dispersing into a disturbed area. In 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred on the South Island of New Zealand. Affecting approximately 100 km of coastline, this quake caused extensive uplift (several metres high), extirpating many intertidal populations, including keystone intertidal kelp species. Following the uplift, we set out to determine the geographic origins of detached kelp specimens which rafted into the disturbed zone. Specifically, we used genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approaches to compare beach-cast southern bull-kelp (Durvillea antarctica and D. poha) samples to established populations throughout the species’ ranges, and thus infer the geographic origins of potential colonists reaching the disturbed coast. Our findings reveal an ongoing supply of diverse lineages dispersing to the newly uplifted coastline, suggesting potential for establishment of ‘exotic’ lineages following disturbance. Furthermore, we found that some drifting individuals of each species came from far-distant regions, some >1200 km away. These results show that diverse lineages – in many cases from very distant sources – have potential to compete for new space in the wake of an exceptional disturbance event, illustrating the potential of long-distance dispersal as a key mechanism for re-assembly of coastal ecosystems. Furthermore, our findings demonstrate that high-resolution genomic baselines can be used to robustly assign the provenance of dispersing individuals.