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Swimming through sand: Connectivity of aquatic fauna in deserts

Murphy, Ashley L., Pavlova, Alexandra, Thompson, Ross M., Davis, Jenny A. and Sunnucks, Paul (2015). Swimming through sand: Connectivity of aquatic fauna in deserts. Ecology and Evolution,5(22):5252-5264.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 11
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ARC Grant No. DP120103010
IRMA ID 81144320xPUB243
Title Swimming through sand: Connectivity of aquatic fauna in deserts
Author Murphy, Ashley L.
Pavlova, Alexandra
Thompson, Ross M.
Davis, Jenny A.
Sunnucks, Paul
Journal Name Ecology and Evolution
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 5
Issue Number 22
ISSN 2045-7758   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84947996384
Start Page 5252
End Page 5264
Total Pages 13
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Freshwater ecosystems in arid regions range from highly fragmented to highly connected, and connectivity has been assumed to be a major factor in the persistence of aquatic biota in arid environments. This review sought to synthesize existing research on genetic estimation of population connectivity in desert freshwaters, identify knowledge gaps, and set priorities for future studies of connectivity in these environments. From an extensive literature search, we synthesized the approaches applied, systems studied, and conclusions about connectivity reached in population genetic research concerning desert freshwater connectivity globally. We restrict our scope to obligate aquatic fauna that disperse largely via freshwaters and exclude those with active aerial dispersal abilities. We examined 92 papers, comprising 133 studies, published from 1987 to 2014. Most described studies of fishes and invertebrates in the deserts of Australia and North America. Connectivity declined with increasing scale, but did not differ significantly among arid regions or taxonomic classes. There were significant differences in connectivity patterns between species with different dispersal abilities, and between spring and riverine habitats at local scales. Population connectivity in desert freshwaters is typically most influenced by the ecology of the species concerned and hydrological connectivity. Most studies did not assess predefined models of connectivity, but described gene flow and/or genetic structure. Climate change and anthropogenic impacts worldwide are likely to increase the incidence and impact of habitat fragmentation in already threatened desert freshwaters. To reduce this risk, biodiversity conservation and environmental management must address connectivity, but often the required information does not exist. Researchers can provide this by explicitly considering the effects of hydrology and species’ ecology on connectivity, and incorporating these into connectivity models, which are vital for understanding connectivity in desert freshwaters.
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Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 4.0 License

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