Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

2016

Journal

PLOS ONE

Volume

11

Issue

1

Abstract

In marine benthic ecosystems, larval connectivity is a major process influencing the maintenance and distribution of invertebrate populations. Larval connectivity is a complex process to study as it is determined by several interacting factors. Here we use an individual-based, biophysical model, to disentangle the effects of such factors, namely larval vertical migration, larval growth, larval mortality, adults fecundity, and habitat availability, for the marine gastropod Concholepas concholepas (loco) in Chile. Lower transport success and higher dispersal distances are observed including larval vertical migration in the model. We find an overall decrease in larval transport success to settlement areas from northern to southern Chile. This spatial gradient results from the combination of current direction and intensity, seawater temperature, and available habitat. From our simulated connectivity patterns we then identify subpopulations of loco along the Chilean coast, which could serve as a basis for spatial management of this resource in the future.

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0146418

Keywords

HUMBOLDT CURRENT SYSTEM; MARINE PROTECTED AREAS; LARVAL DISPERSAL; POPULATION CONNECTIVITY; BENTHIC INVERTEBRATES; MODEL; TRANSPORT; MORTALITY; DYNAMICS; BEHAVIOR

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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