Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Chapter 8: Biophysical model of coral population connectivity in the Arabian/Persian Gulf

Chapter Title

Chapter 8: Biophysical model of coral population connectivity in the Arabian/Persian Gulf

Book Title

Advances in Marine Biology: Population Dynamics of the Reef Crisis

Files

Document Type

Book Chapter

Editors

Bernhard M. Riegl

Description

The coral reef ecosystems of the Arabian/Persian Gulf (the Gulf) are facing profound pressure from climate change (extreme temperatures) and anthropogenic (land-use and population-related) stressors. Increasing degradation at local and regional scales has already resulted in widespread coral cover reduction. Connectivity, the transport and exchange of larvae among geographically separated populations, plays an essential role in recovery and maintenance of biodiversity and resilience of coral reef populations. Here, an oceanographic model in 3-D high-resolution was used to simulate particle dispersion of “virtual larvae.” We investigated the potential physical connectivity of coral reefs among different regions in the Gulf. Simulations reveal that basin-scale circulation is responsible for broader spatial dispersion of the larvae in the central region of the Gulf, and tidally-driven currents characterized the more localized connectivity pattern in regions along the shores in the Gulf's southern part. Results suggest predominant self-recruitment of reefs with highest source and sink ratios along the Bahrain and western Qatar coasts, followed by the south eastern Qatar and continental Abu Dhabi coast. The central sector of the Gulf is suggested as recruitment source in a stepping-stone dynamics. Recruitment intensity declined moving away from the Straits of Hormuz. Connectivity varied in models assuming passive versus active mode of larvae movement. This suggests that larval behaviour needs to be taken into consideration when establishing dispersion models, and establishing conservation strategies for these vulnerable ecosystems.

ISBN

SCOPUS_ID:85089519663

Publication Date

1-1-2020

Publisher

Elsevier

Keywords

Arabian/Persian Gulf, Biophysical model, Coral reef, Larval transport, Modelling, Population connectivity

Disciplines

Marine Biology

DOI

10.1016/bs.amb.2020.07.001

Chapter 8: Biophysical model of coral population connectivity in the Arabian/Persian Gulf
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