Mesoscale flow variability and its impact on connectivity for the island of Hawai'i

A. C. Vaz, K. J. Richards, Y. Jia, Claire B Paris-Limouzy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding population connectivity is a contemporary challenge in marine ecology. Connectivity results from a combination of biological traits and physical mechanisms, at different life stages. We focus on the transport of particles around an oceanic island, simulating transport at early life stages of marine organisms. We aim to investigate through case studies how mesoscale features influence particle transport, recruitment, and connectivity. We determine particle dispersion by using an individual-based model and the flow fields derived from a regional implementation of an ocean circulation model. To understand the underlying physical processes of transport, we locate coherent structures in the flow field, identify recurrent physical features, and observe how particle transport is related to them. Our results show that the varying eddying flow increases connectivity among populations located on different sides of the island. Both the flow field and dispersal patterns are highly variable. In this scenario, eddy events influence transport in distinct ways, and the timing of release plays an important role in dispersal. Our results highlight the need for modeling studies to use hydrodynamical model flows that represent the scales of variability affecting transport and dispersion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-337
Number of pages6
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 28 2013

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connectivity
flow field
flow distribution
ecology
individual-based model
organisms
eddy
oceans
time measurement
vortices
particle
modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Mesoscale flow variability and its impact on connectivity for the island of Hawai'i. / Vaz, A. C.; Richards, K. J.; Jia, Y.; Paris-Limouzy, Claire B.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 40, No. 2, 28.01.2013, p. 332-337.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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