Small-scale connectivity of coralligenous habitats: insights from a modelling approach within a semi-opened Mediterranean bay

Type Article
Acceptance Date 2021 IN PRESS
Language English
Author(s) Rossi Vincent1, Lo Madiop1, Legrand Terence1, Ser-Giacomi Enrico2, de Jode Aurélien3, 4, Thierry De Ville D’avray Laure4, Pairaud IvaneORCID5, Faure Vincent1, 6, Fraysse Marion1, Pinazo Christel1, Chenuil Anne4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO), CNRS, Aix-Marseille University, Toulon University, IRD, Marseille, France
2 : MIT, Boston, USA.
3 : Department of Marine Sciences, Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg, Strömstad, Sweden.
4 : IMBE, CNRS/IRD/AMU, Endoume, Marseille, France
5 : Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IFREMER, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, CNRS UMR 6523, IRD, IUEM, 29280 Plouzané, France
6 : GIPREB, Berre l’étang, France
Source Vie Et Milieu-life And Environment (0240-8759) (Observatoire Oceanologique Banyuls) In Press
Keyword(s) habitat connectivity, larval dispersal, coralligenous assemblages, benthic organisms, oceanic circulation, Lagrangian modeling, population genetics, community composition

Habitat connectivity is central to several key evolutionary and ecological processes, having implications for the spatial structuring of marine populations. For benthic species that have no or little mobility as adults, connectivity is evaluated by analyzing the dispersal of propagules across the seascape. We investigate fine-scale connectivity of coralligenous habitats in Marseille Bay (located in the north-western Mediterranean) sea using high-resolution cartography and a particle-tracking model ran over a range of parameters derived from the biological traits of potential target species. We present annual and seasonal means of various connectivity diagnostics measuring the retention and exchange of propagules among coralligenous patches. A synthetic view is obtained by clustering individual patches into “coralligenous provinces” (ensemble of patches tightly connected by ocean currents). When discussing our results against historical observations, we highlight some genetic breaks, sharp community changes and ecological clusters that fit well our simulated connectivity patterns. Consistent findings include reduced biodiversity along Côte Bleue, high biodiversity at Planier Island and the presence of various dispersal barriers, which evolve with dispersal durations and provide the backbone of habitat connectivity. Our results help to apprehend and test hypothesis on marine population structures, providing useful information for ecologists and conservationists.

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Rossi Vincent, Lo Madiop, Legrand Terence, Ser-Giacomi Enrico, de Jode Aurélien, Thierry De Ville D’avray Laure, Pairaud Ivane, Faure Vincent, Fraysse Marion, Pinazo Christel, Chenuil Anne Small-scale connectivity of coralligenous habitats: insights from a modelling approach within a semi-opened Mediterranean bay. Vie Et Milieu-life And Environment IN PRESS. Open Access version :