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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Constituent species of coral reef communities have different dispersal potentials and connectivity networks, which suggests that their populations will react uniquely to perturbation or conservation actions. Image: Daniel Holstein

Holstein DM, Paris CB, Mumby PJ


Consistency and inconsistency in multispecies population network dynamics of coral reef ecosystems


Marine species and their larvae have characteristics that shape their connectivity networks and make the management of the reef ecosystem challenging. Holstein and co-workers utilized a multi-scale biophysical model to simulate Caribbean-wide larval dispersal of five coral reef-associated species. Coral populations were more isolated than those of reef fish and may be more vulnerable to perturbation. Similarly, enclave regions that should have different species-specific management priorities were identified. Both the consistencies and inconsistencies among species and regions suggest that understanding the connectivity dynamics of all species of interest is pivotal to the success of local and regional management actions.


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