Event Title

Modeling the dispersal of invertebrate communities using a biophysical model reveals regional patterns of seagrass habitat connectivity

Streaming Media

Presentation Abstract

Seagrass meadows host high secondary productivity and a high diversity of invertebrates. This diversity likely reflects regional scale dispersal among seagrass meadows. Understanding the scale of dispersal of these communities is essential to understanding the importance of regional processes for local community structure and ecosystem function. This requires considering seagrass habitat in its larger seascape context with the influence of oceanographic processes, yet modelling dispersal among nearshore environments remains a challenge due to high-resolution data requirements. In this study, we developed a biophysical model to measure dispersal potential among seagrass meadows in British Columbia and Washington. The model combines oceanographic processes and biological dispersal traits to produce spatially explicit predictions of habitat connectivity. A network analysis was conducted on the resulting connections to measure habitat patch centrality and clustering. Our analysis suggests that it is highly likely that invertebrate communities are connected across multiple meadows in a seascape by dispersal. Meadows vary in their contribution to maintaining network connectivity, and distinct clusters of varying size are present along the coast, suggesting a metacommunity structure. Analysing connectivity can reveal that it may not be a single important meadow that maintains regional diversity but instead clusters of meadows. Our analysis is useful for identifying the groupings of habitat required to maintain connectivity at varying spatial scales, a question fundamental to conservation and management.

Session Title

Resilient seagrass ecosystems in the Salish Sea through sound science, effective policies and restoration action (Part I)

Conference Track

Kelp & Seagrass

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_3440

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Genre/Form

presentations (communicative events)

Subjects – Topical (LCSH)

Seagrasses--Dispersal--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Wet meadow ecology--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/PDF

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Modeling the dispersal of invertebrate communities using a biophysical model reveals regional patterns of seagrass habitat connectivity

Seagrass meadows host high secondary productivity and a high diversity of invertebrates. This diversity likely reflects regional scale dispersal among seagrass meadows. Understanding the scale of dispersal of these communities is essential to understanding the importance of regional processes for local community structure and ecosystem function. This requires considering seagrass habitat in its larger seascape context with the influence of oceanographic processes, yet modelling dispersal among nearshore environments remains a challenge due to high-resolution data requirements. In this study, we developed a biophysical model to measure dispersal potential among seagrass meadows in British Columbia and Washington. The model combines oceanographic processes and biological dispersal traits to produce spatially explicit predictions of habitat connectivity. A network analysis was conducted on the resulting connections to measure habitat patch centrality and clustering. Our analysis suggests that it is highly likely that invertebrate communities are connected across multiple meadows in a seascape by dispersal. Meadows vary in their contribution to maintaining network connectivity, and distinct clusters of varying size are present along the coast, suggesting a metacommunity structure. Analysing connectivity can reveal that it may not be a single important meadow that maintains regional diversity but instead clusters of meadows. Our analysis is useful for identifying the groupings of habitat required to maintain connectivity at varying spatial scales, a question fundamental to conservation and management.