Population persistence in marine reserve networks: incorporating spatial heterogeneities in larval dispersal

JW White, LW Botsford, A Hastings, JL Largier
2010 Marine Ecology Progress Series  
The relationship between marine reserve design and metapopulation persistence has been analyzed only for cases of spatially homogenous advective-diffusive larval dispersal. However, many coastlines exhibit more complex circulation, such as retention zones in which slower-moving currents shorten dispersal distances and larvae can accumulate. We constructed metapopulation models that incorporated 3 types of spatial variability in dispersal associated with retention zones: (A) reduction of both
more » ... ective (L A ) and stochastic (L S ) length scales of dispersal within the retention zone, (B) reduction of L A only, and (C) accumulation of larvae in the retention zone, followed by redistribution along the coastline. For each scenario, we examined reserve networks with a range of size and spacing configurations. The scenarios differed in the relative number of self-persistent reserves, i.e. those which can survive in isolation, and network-persistent reserves, i.e. those which rely on connectivity through space and across generations to offset shortfalls in direct self-replenishment. When dispersal was dominated by stochastic movements (L S > L A in scenarios A and B), metapopulations typically consisted of self-persistent reserves. As dispersal became increasingly advective (L A > L S ), retention aided persistence, and network persistence became more prevalent. Persistence in scenario C decreased with the amount of redistribution. The specific patterns of persistence depended on the size and number of reserves and demographic parameters, but self-persistence was always more likely for reserves in the retention zone. Thus, placing a reserve in a retention zone to promote population persistence is advisable for all 3 dispersal scenarios. KEY WORDS: Larval dispersal · Dispersal kernel · Headland · Metapopulation · Marine reserve · Persistence · Self-recruitment Resale or republication not permitted without written consent of the publisher Editorial responsibility: Romuald Lipcius,
doi:10.3354/meps08327 fatcat:vnv6ibxeszdtlb7inhjt3ldgum