Date of this Version
J Coast Conserv DOI 10.1007/s11852-013-0246-3
Rhizophora mangle L. is a widespread mangrove species in theWestern Hemisphere. Mangrove habitat loss and their importance to coastal and reef ecosystems make greater understanding of their genetic structure useful for conservation and management. An amplified fragment polymorphism (AFLP) analysis was performed on samples from Florida and the Caribbean to discover the genetic structure present. R. mangle had variable genetic diversity not related to latitude; P ranged 7 %–92 %. Some other factor, perhaps human impact, has caused low genetic diversity in some populations. Across Florida R. mangle populations varied in genetic diversity with less diversity (Gst=0.195) and greater gene flow on the Atlantic coast (Nm =2.07) than on the Gulf coast (Gst=0.717, Nm=0.197). Gene flow between Caribbean islands was low (Nm=0.386) compared to continental populations (Nm=1.40), indicating that long distance dispersal is not common between islands. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) analysis showed significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations at the level of region among subpopulations and overall genetic difference among subpopulations for R. mangle. One implication for management is that small continental populations and island populations may be genetically isolated and distinct from each other.