AB 16:203-208 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00466

Non-Gaussian larval dispersal kernels in Gaussian ocean flows

Stephen M. Chiswell*

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), PO Box 14-901, Kilbirnie, Wellington, New Zealand

ABSTRACT: Models of larval dispersal in which ocean currents are Gaussian-distributed provide analytical solutions for the dispersal kernel that are usually assumed to be Gaussian-distributed as well. However, such Gaussian solutions are only valid for a single value of the duration of the larval period. In reality, larvae have a settlement competency period that can range from minutes to >1 yr. Dispersal kernels computed for larvae having a competency period of finite length become non-Gaussian, because later settlers contribute proportionately more to both tails of the kernels than early settlers. In species where the variability in larval duration is large, or mean flows are large compared to the variability, the dispersal kernels approach uniform rather than Gaussian distributions.

KEY WORDS: Larval dispersal · Spatial kernels · Connectivity

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Cite this article as: Chiswell SM (2012) Non-Gaussian larval dispersal kernels in Gaussian ocean flows. Aquat Biol 16:203-208. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00466

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