Vital for many marine and terrestrial species, and several other environmental services, such as carbon sink areas, the mangrove ecosystem is highly threatened due to the proximity of large urban centers and climate change. The forced fragmentation of this ecosystem affects the genetic diversity distribution among natural populations. Moreover, while restoration efforts have increased, few studies have analyzed how recently-planted areas impact the original mangrove genetic diversity. We analyzed the genetic diversity of two mangroves species (Laguncularia racemosa
and Avicennia schaueriana
) in three areas in Brazil, using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. Using the local approach, we identified the genetic diversity pool of a restored area compared to nearby areas, including the remnant plants inside the restored area, one well-conserved population at the shore of Guanabara Bay, and one impacted population in Araçá Bay. The results for L. racemosa
showed that the introduced population has lost genetic diversity by drift, but remnant plants with high genetic diversity or incoming propagules could help improve overall genetic diversity. Avicennia schaueriana
showed similar genetic diversity, indicating an efficient gene flow. The principal component analysis showing different connections between both species indicate differences in gene flow and dispersal efficiencies, highlighting the needed for further studies. Our results emphasize that genetic diversity knowledge and monitoring associated with restoration actions can help avoid bottlenecks and other pitfalls, especially for the mangrove ecosystem.
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