Demographic and genetic connectivity of marine populations: oceanographic and biological modelling of dispersal

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2006
End date: 31/12/2008
Funding: 1755000 SEK


Populations are demographically and genetically connected in space by dispersal. This connectivity has far-reaching consequences for population dynamics, community structure and genetic diversity. Accumulating evidence indicate that many populations are less connected than previously assumed, especially on ecological time scales. This interdisciplinary project aims toward a new framework for analysis and prediction of connectivity in marine populations. We will formulate models of connectivity, combining ocean flow and traits of dispersing propagules, and test predictions against observed data on recruitment, invasions, and genetic structure. Specifically, we address the following research questions: 1. Do spatially explicit dispersal models predict less open populations than previously believed? 2. How will different propagule traits translate into dispersal patterns under a series of physical transport scenarios? 3. How do spatially explicit models compare to simple 1- and 0-dimensional models? 4. How may the location of spawning areas affect connectivity and survival? 5. How sensitive are connectivities to shifts in physical transport caused by proposed scenarios of climate change? The project will contribute to a better understanding of dispersal as a factor generating and eroding biodiversity. Moreover, results are expected to support new strategies of biodiversity management, e.g. through better design of protected areas.

External Partners

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:58