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Mangrove dispersal revealed by genetic, genomic and oceanographic data: a multitaxonomic approach

Grant number: 23/04492-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Effective date (End): July 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Plant Genetics
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Maruyama Mori
Grantee:Rodrigo Francisco Justino
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB-CLP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista. São Vicente , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:22/02804-9 - Evaluating adaptation, epigenetic variation, and dispersal to unveil the response of mangrove in a changing world, AP.PNGP.PI


Dispersal is a critical biological process as it enables connectivity between different areas allowing the repopulation of lost areas, colonization of new environments and populations' maintenance. Some organisms such as mangrove trees have a high potential for dispersal such that there are many studies that report long-distance dispersal, potentially transoceanic. However, studies of long-distance dispersal of mangrove trees infer dispersal by molecular markers and generally do not consider the role of surface ocean currents in an integrated statistical framework. Studies that address the role of ocean currents often do not use simulation of propagules' dispersal by ocean currents, which allows contemplating oceanic processes such as tides and eddies, or when they do, they do not take into account species-specific traits, which may be important in the dispersal potential of each species. This project aims to evaluate the contribution of surface ocean currents to the dispersal and connectivity of different lineages of mangrove trees in the Atlantic and East Pacific (AEP) biogeographic region. Using a landscape genetics approach that statistically integrates particle transport modeling by ocean currents and gene flow inference. We will use open data from scientific articles that used microsatellites or single nucleotide markers in genetic studies of populations with mangrove trees. In addition, we will integrate genetic and oceanographic data by redundancy analysis and we will assess the consistency between different taxa by congruence analysis between distance matrices. We expect that our results will allow better predictions of organisms' responses to ongoing environmental changes, guiding more effective conservation plans.

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