Dispersal and Retention of Benthic Invertebrate Larvae in Flows Near a Seamount.
Final rept. 1 Oct 88-31 May 96,
WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA
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Anecdotal reports of dense aggregations of fish and zooplankton in the water column near seamounts, and of abundant benthic communities on seamount summits have spawned a great deal of speculation over whether seamount-current interactions might be responsible for distinct biological signatures. The general goals of this project were 1 to investigate effects of mesoscale flows on retention and dispersal of benthic invertebrate larvae near seamounts, and 2 to define the influences of flow-mediated dispersal on population ecology and gene flow in isolated benthic habitats. The primary goal was to test the hypothesis that hydrodynamic features associated with seamounts, such as Taylor Caps, retain larvae and cause them to accumulate near their source. If larval retention occurs on sufficiently long time scales, then we expect larvae to recolonize the source populations, possibly leading to reduced gene flow between adjacent seamounts. A secondary goal of the project funded as an AASERT Award was to examine gene flow among seamount populations by characterizing the population genetic structure of seamount-dwelling corals.
- Biological Oceanography