MEPS 347:195-205 (2007)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps06978

Linking behavioural ecology and oceanography: larval behaviour determines growth, mortality and dispersal

Øyvind Fiksen1,*, Christian Jørgensen1, Trond Kristiansen1,3, Frode Vikebø1,2,**, Geir Huse2

1University of Bergen, Department of Biology, PO Box 7800, 5020 Bergen, Norway
2Institute of Marine Research, PO Box 1870 Nordnes, 5817 Bergen, Norway
3Present address: University of North Carolina, Department of Marine Sciences, Campus Box 3300, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3300, USA
*Email:
**Present address: IMR, Bergen

ABSTRACT: Highly resolved general circulation models (GCMs) now generate realistic flow fields, and have revealed how sensitive larval drift routes are to vertical positioning in the water column. Sensible representation of behavioural processes then becomes essential to generate reliable patterns of environmental exposure (growth and survival), larval drift trajectories and dispersal. Existing individual-based models involving larval fish allow individuals to vary only in their attributes such as spatial coordinates, and not in their inherited behavioural strategies or phenotypes. We illustrate the interaction between short-term behaviour and longer-term dispersal consequences applying a model of larval cod Gadus morhua drifting in a GCM, and show how variations in swimming behaviour influence growth and dispersal. We recommend a deep integration of oceanography and behavioural ecology. First, we need to understand the causes and survival value of behaviours of larval fish, framed in terms of behavioural ecology. Second, we need practices to address how drift and dispersal of offspring are generating spawning strategies (timing and location) of adults, using life history theory. Third, the relative importance of local growth and mortality versus the need to drift to particular areas depend strongly on the mobility of organisms at the time of settling, or the spatial fitness-landscape. The field of ‘individual-based ecology’ provides sound methods to approach this interface between evolutionary theory and physical oceanography.


KEY WORDS: Behavioural rules · Larval ecology · Individual-based models · General circulation models · Predation · Habitat selection


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Cite this article as: Fiksen Ø, Jørgensen C, Kristiansen T, Vikebø F, Huse G (2007) Linking behavioural ecology and oceanography: larval behaviour determines growth, mortality and dispersal. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 347:195-205. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps06978

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