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Coral Population Connectivity in Seychelles, webinar

Thursday , August 06, 2020

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Many marine species disperse over long distances through ocean currents and understanding how different populations are connected through marine dispersal is increasingly recognised as an important consideration for marine spatial planning. For species that disperse in their larval stage (many marine invertebrates and fish), directly tracking these larvae is usually unfeasible as they can travel for hundreds or thousands of kilometres. Estimating larval dispersal and connectivity therefore generally rely on alternative methods such as genetics or computer simulations.

To predict the connectivity of marine species in the southwestern tropical Indian Ocean, we are currently developing a sophisticated computer model to simulate ocean currents for this region (see below). Using this simulation, we can generate millions of virtual larvae and predict where these larvae will disperse and the resulting ecological connectivity between sites. These dispersal experiments can be tuned to particular species based on spawning timing and location, larval mortality, and to some extent behaviour.

In this presentation, we will introduce the capability of our computer model, as well as the advantages and uncertainties involved in predicting dispersal and connectivity using this method. The focus of our study is presently on corals but we would like to invite a broader range of stakeholders to attend this session so you can assess whether these dispersal predictions could be useful for your specific needs.

Join speakers April J Burt (Discussion on Coral Reef Connectivity) and Noam Vogt-VIncent (Discussion on Oceanographic Model Parameters) on the 6th August, 1 pm Seychelles time.