AB - Vol. 16 No. 3 - Feature article

Late-stage phylosoma of spiny lobster Jasus sp. Larvae of this genus have the longest known competency period among invertebrate larvae (12 to 24 mo), leading to considerable variability in spatial scales of settlement.

Photo: Oddgeir Alvheim, IMR, Bergen, Norway

Chiswell SM


Non-Gaussian larval dispersal kernels in Gaussian ocean flows


The spatial scale of larval dispersal is critical to issues in biosecurity, biodiversity, fisheries management and marine reserve design. Models of larval dispersal often use a single value for the larval duration, but larvae have a competency period that can range from minutes to more than 1 yr. The study by Chiswell shows that if the competency period is long relative to the mean duration, and where currents show little eddy energy, the statistics of settlement calculated using the full compentency period are quite different from those calculated using a single duration. It is thus important to use a realistic range of larval periods in both theoretical and numerical models of dispersal.


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