Seascape and life-history traits do not predict self-recruitment in a coral reef fish

Marcela Herrera Sarrias, Gerrit B. Nanninga, Serge Planes, Geoffrey P. Jones, Simon R. Thorrold, Pablo Saenz Agudelo, Glenn R. Almany, Michael L. Berumen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The persistence and resilience of many coral reef species are dependent on rates of connectivity among sub-populations. However, despite increasing research efforts, the spatial scale of larval dispersal remains unpredictable for most marine metapopulations. Here, we assess patterns of larval dispersal in the angelfish Centropyge bicolor in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, using parentage and sibling reconstruction analyses based on 23 microsatellite DNA loci. We found that, contrary to previous findings in this system, self-recruitment (SR) was virtually absent at both the reef (0.4-0.5% at 0.15 km2) and the lagoon scale (0.6-0.8% at approx. 700 km2). While approximately 25%of the collected juveniles were identified as potential siblings, the majority of sibling pairs were sampled from separate reefs. Integrating our findings with earlier research from the same system suggests that geographical setting and life-history traits alone are not suitable predictors of SR and that high levels of localized recruitment are not universal in coral reef fishes. © 2016 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20160309
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 9 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This study was supported by KAUST baseline research funds (to M.L.B.) and a KAUST Special Partnership Collaborative Fellowship (to M.L.B. and P.S.-A.). Additional funding was provided by Australian Research Council funding to G.P.J. and NSF grant nos. OCE0928442 and OCE1031256 to S.R.T.


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