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Modelling larval dispersal and behaviour of coral reef fishes

Simpson, Stephen D and Piercy, Julius JB and King, Jeremy and Codling, Edward A (2013) 'Modelling larval dispersal and behaviour of coral reef fishes.' Ecological Complexity, 16. pp. 68-76. ISSN 1476-945X

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Coral reef fish spend their first few weeks developing in the open ocean, where eggs and larvae appear merciless to tides and currents, before attempting to leave the pelagic zone and settle on a suitable reef. This pelagic dispersal phase is the process that determines population connectivity and allows replenishment of harvested populations across multiple coral reef habitats. Until recently this pelagic larval dispersal phase has been poorly understood and has often been referred to as the 'black-box' in the life-history of coral reef fishes. In this perspective article we highlight three areas where mathematical and computational approaches have been used to aid our understanding of this important ecological process. We discuss models that provide insights into the evolution of the pelagic larval phase in coral reef fish, an unresolved question which lends itself well to a modelling approach due to the difficulty in obtaining empirical data on this life history strategy. We describe how studies of fish hearing and physical sound propagation models can be used to predict the detection distance of reefs for settling larval fish, and the potential impact of anthropogenic noise. We explain how random walk models can be used to explore individual- and group-level behaviour in larval fish during the dispersal and settlement stage of their life-history. Finally, we discuss the mutual benefits that mathematical and computational approaches have brought to and gained from the field of larval behaviour and dispersal of reef fishes. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dispersal; Pelagic larval duration; Anthropogenic noise; Biased random walks; Group behaviour; Coral reef fishes
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Mathematical Sciences, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 12:19
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:40

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