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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 279:215-224 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps279215

Random walk models for the movement and recruitment of reef fish larvae

E. A. Codling1,4, N. A. Hill2,*, J. W. Pitchford3, S. D. Simpson3,5

1Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2Department of Mathematics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
3Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5YW, UK
4Present address: Department of Zoology Ecology and Plant Science, University College Cork, Lee Maltings, Prospect Row, Cork, Ireland
5Present address: School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Kings Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The factors influencing the movement and recruitment of settlement stage larvae are investigated using random walk models. Individual-based sensing and orientating abilities are included explicitly in the model. We consider 2 simple reef environment models consisting of a simple circular reef with and without a constant cross-current. The sensing ability of the larvae is modelled as either fixed or spatially dependent, together with a fixed orientating ability. The survival probability is found to be highly sensitive to both the sensing and orientating abilities of the larvae, as well as to the properties of the reef environment itself.

KEY WORDS: Reef fish settlement · Larval swimming ability · Biased random walks

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