Movement of organisms is fundamental to life, understanding the interplay among underlying mechanistic and stochastic components of organismal movement patterns is key for understanding its consequences on ecological processes. Historically, variability is used in metapopulation and metacommunity ecology to reflect the varying environment conditions and population demography. However, most ecological theories have studied the effect of stochasticity on dispersal using methods that mask the effect connectivity covariance. As a results, most stochastic theories have put less emphasis onspatio-temporal fluctuations in the patterns of movement across metapopulations and metacommunities. This is true, in marine systems, where most species undergo larval period and larvae disperse following ocean current that are determined by climate and habitat configuration. My work focuses on understanding implications of dispersal patterns generated by temporal and spatial variability on biological populations and ecological interactions. Therefore, by using spatio-temporal connectivity covariance, I propose models that account for dispersal patterns to answer questions of metapopulation and metacommunity persistence, and applications in protected marine areas.
Bani, Ridouan, Rasheed Hameed, Steve Szymanowski, Priscilla Greenwood, Christopher Kribs-Zaleta, Anuj Mubayi
2013 Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering