Larval dispersal reveals regional sources and sinks in the Great Barrier Reef

Bode, Michael, Bode, Lance, and Armsworth, Paul R. (2006) Larval dispersal reveals regional sources and sinks in the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 308. pp. 17-25.

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We analysed simulated connectivity patterns for reef fish larvae in the Cairns section of the Great Barrier Reef, and identified 2 key subregions that exhibit regional scale source–sink dynamics. The source and sink were separated latitudinally by a boundary at 16.1°S, with the source subregion lying to the north. Larval transport between the 2 subregions was predominantly unidirectional, from north to south. Only a few local populations, described here as ‘gateway reefs’, were able to transport larvae from the sink subregion to the source subregion and thus maintain the connectedness of the metapopulation. The northern subregion was able to persist without external larval supply, but when conditions were recruitment limited, the southern subregion depended on larval supply from the north to persist. The relative autonomy of the northern subregion, and its importance in sustaining the southern subregion, will influence the effectiveness of conservation efforts.

Item ID: 3992
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1599
Keywords: larval dispersal; source - sink; coral reef fish; metapopulation dynamics
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2009 01:32
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 34%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 33%
01 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 0102 Applied Mathematics > 010202 Biological Mathematics @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969902 Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. Climate Related) @ 100%
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