How does a widespread reef coral maintain a population in an isolated environment?

Precoda, Kristin, Baird, Andrew H., Madsen, Alisha, Mizerek, Toni, Sommer, Brigitte, Su, Sheena N., and Madin, Joshua S. (2018) How does a widespread reef coral maintain a population in an isolated environment? Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 594. pp. 85-94.

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In a changing global environment, previously suboptimal habitats may become climate refuges for species. For instance, the ranges of some tropical reef corals are already expanding poleward. Understanding the demographic strategies by which isolated or marginal populations persist is therefore important, especially since such populations are often both vulnerable to local extinction and sources of evolutionary novelty. This study builds an integral projection model from individual-level demographic rates for a genetically isolated population of a reef coral, Plesiastrea versipora, in Sydney Harbour, Australia, in order to understand the population-level demographic characteristics allowing its persistence. We show that this population is thriving, with the potential to rapidly increase in benthic cover, due to high adult survivorship and at least sporadic high recruitment. Medium-sized colonies are the most important for long-term population viability due to their reproductive potential. Nonetheless, the population's persistence is sensitive to recruitment and growth rates, and protecting it from factors that affect these processes is likely to be crucial for its longer-term survival.

Item ID: 53669
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0171-8630
Keywords: population dynamics, population persistence, isolated population, demographics, plesiastrea versipora, integral projection model
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Inter-Research.
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Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 07:49
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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