Poster Open Access
Le Corre, Nicolas; Pepin, Pierre; Han, Guoqi; Snelgrove, Paul
Poster presentation at ATLAS 3rd General Assembly.
Canada is currently working on establishing networks of marine protected areas based on a variety of conservation objectives for a broad range of taxa with contrasting life history characteristics. This study focused on the connectivity of species of cold-water corals among Significant Benthic Areas (SBAs) off Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Deep-sea benthic invertebrates could provide a test case for effective MPA networks because of the importance of their larval phase in ensuring colonization, recruitment, and connectivity. We evaluated the scale of potential larval dispersal of several dominant coral species with a significant pelagic larval phase by using an ice-ocean circulation model with a biophysical particle-tracking model. Our simulations show that coral larvae from populations located on the shelf edge may travel several hundreds of kilometres prior to settlement, driven by the strong Labrador Current. A smaller range of potential larval dispersal distances generally characterize corals positioned at other locations (e.g., Labrador Sea). Through these analyses we identify potential linkages (i.e., sources, sink and pathways) of coral larvae among various areas of interest (SBAs), and provide information on the scale of dispersal required to advise policy strategies to protect deep-water corals in this area.
Nicolas Le Corre Connectivity of Bentho-Pelagic Species among Significant Benthic Areas off Newfoundland and Labrador.pdf