Interdisciplinary Seminar: Tim Wahl
February 19 @ 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm
An Interdisciplinary seminar from UNC Marine Sciences graduate student, Tim Wahl. Presented by the UNC-CH Department of Marine Sciences. The main location of this event will be in seminar room G201 on the ground floor of Murray Hall on UNC-CH campus in Chapel Hill, NC. The seminar will be streamed live to room 222 at IMS in Morehead City, NC. This event will be held on Monday, February 19th at 12:20pm.
Seminar Title: Biogeographic Connectivity in the Indo-Pacific
Abstract: Biogeographic Connectivity is the exchange of individuals among marine populations in a geographical region due to physical parameters. The Indo-Pacific Ocean shows strong biological connectivity between surrounding reef communities. Sessile marine organisms with pelagic larval phases depend heavily on ocean currents for species expansion. Ocean surface currents have been recognized as the main drivers of the movement of pelagic, non-swimming larvae between these regions. Broadcast spawning and spore release are two methods in which organisms utilize the surface currents in order to reach other reef communities. Scleractinian corals and the kelp species, Ecklonia radiata, are two species that apply this strategy. Once the larvae are released, they are influenced by many physical parameters. One of the main parameters that influences connectivity is the speed of the currents. Within Australia, three replicate boundary currents exist, with varying speeds. These boundary currents serve as ideal sites for connectivity measurements. As current speed increases within the boundary currents, the larvae travel a further distance in the same amount of time and therefore having stronger connectivity. The connectivity shown in individual species based physical transport models is reinforced by population genetics measurements. Understanding connectivity by increasingly sophisticated models will help to identify and protect habitats in which species will need to be preserved in a changing climate.