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Global patterns in marine dispersal estimates: the influence of geography, taxonomic category and life history.


ABSTRACT: We examine estimates of dispersal in a broad range of marine species through an analysis of published values, and evaluate how well these values represent global patterns through a comparison with correlates of dispersal. Our analysis indicates a historical focus in dispersal studies on low-dispersal/low-latitude species, and we hypothesize that these studies are not generally applicable and representative of global patterns. Large-scale patterns in dispersal were examined using a database of correlates of dispersal such as planktonic larval duration (PLD, 318 species) and genetic differentiation (FST, 246 species). We observed significant differences in FST (p<0.001) and PLD (p<0.001) between taxonomic groups (e.g. fishes, cnidarians, etc.). Within marine fishes (more than 50% of datasets), the prevalence of demersal eggs was negatively associated with PLD (R2=0.80, p<0.001) and positively associated with genetic structure (R2=0.74, p<0.001). Furthermore, dispersal within marine fishes (i.e. PLD and FST) increased with latitude, adult body size and water depth. Of these variables, multiple regression identified latitude and body size as persistent predictors across taxonomic levels. These global patterns of dispersal represent a first step towards understanding and predicting species-level and regional differences in dispersal, and will be improved as more comprehensive data become available.

SUBMITTER: Bradbury IR 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2587791 | BioStudies | 2008-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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