Nereia lophocladia (Nereia lophocladia)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 190522367
Distribution and population genomics of the critically endangered alga Nereia lophocladia
Recent Nereia lophocladia research has greatly improved the understanding of the species’ biology and ecology, and even extended its known distribution. Long-term conservation, however, also requires an understanding of a species’ population structure and genetic variation. Threatened species often have low levels of genetic diversity, which can affect a population’s ability to adapt to environmental changes and increase its extinction risk. Hence, the identification of genetic diversity within and between populations can determine the focus of conservation efforts, in-situ (e.g. translocation) and ex-situ (e.g. breeding). This project aims to map N. lophocladia’s wider distribution by exploring other potential occurrences of the alga, using information on habitat preferences from recent surveys. Furthermore, genetic analyses will be used to identify the genetic distinctness of these spatially distinct populations. The outcomes of this project will provide an ideal opportunity to address high priority research targets in the Action Statement for N. lophocladia.
Project 190522367 location - Australia, Oceania