Modelled larval supply predicts coral population recovery potential following disturbance

Gouezo, M, Wolanski, E, Critchell, Kay, Fabricius, K, Harrison, P, Golbuu, Y and Doropoulos, C 2021, Modelled larval supply predicts coral population recovery potential following disturbance, Marine Ecology: Progress Series, vol. 661, pp. 127-145, doi: 10.3354/meps13608.

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Title Modelled larval supply predicts coral population recovery potential following disturbance
Author(s) Gouezo, M
Wolanski, E
Critchell, KayORCID iD for Critchell, Kay
Fabricius, K
Harrison, P
Golbuu, Y
Doropoulos, C
Journal name Marine Ecology: Progress Series
Volume number 661
Start page 127
End page 145
Total pages 19
Publisher Inter Research
Place of publication Amelinghausen, Germany
Publication date 2021
ISSN 0171-8630
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Biophysical model
Larval supply
Summary It is hypothesized that spatio-temporal variability in larval supply is caused by multiple biophysical drivers which correlate with the occurrence of recruitment pulses, influencing the recovery potential of coral reefs following large-scale disturbances. Here, we used a larval dispersal model to explore coral larvae dispersal patterns under variable oceanographic conditions, densities of parental colonies, and taxon-specific biology of propagules. Model predictions were validated with observed settlement and recruitment data to test the robustness of larval dispersal modelling for forecasting the recovery potential of study reefs. The model was applied to the western Pacific archipelago of Palau for 3 yr before and after major typhoon disturbances, and simulations were run and validated for 2 major broadcast-spawning reef-building taxa: Acropora and Porites. Investigations into the relative role of physical (currents, wind, waves) and biological (taxa, disturbance impact) parameters on overall larval supply show that low wind speeds and the intermittent occurrence of north and southwest oceanic currents contributed significantly to enhancing larval supply at the scale of the archipelago. Reduced parental colony densities on eastern reefs following disturbances did not have a major impact on predicted larval supply patterns. Relatively low larval supply to most of the disturbed eastern reefs is predicted during the most common oceanographic conditions, forecasting low recovery potential through larval recruitment. Mapping the spatio-temporal dynamics of larval supply and identifying barriers to dispersal from intact to disturbed reefs can help predict recovery patterns across reef communities.
Language eng
DOI 10.3354/meps13608
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 0405 Oceanography
0602 Ecology
0608 Zoology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
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