Understanding patterns of connectivity for species of conservation concern is crucial in the design of networks of ecologically coherent Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and connectivity is one of a number of principles considered in the design of such a network currently being enacted by the UK Governments. However, data concerning connectivity are deficient for many invertebrate sessile taxa. This study was commissioned to assess the population genetic structure and genetic connectivity of two temperate octocoral species around southwest Britain and the North East Atlantic Eunicella verrucosa and Alcyonium digitatum.
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