Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Phillip England, Ph.D.

CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research

Hydrodynamic Modeling as a Tool for Understanding Macroalgal Biodiversity
in Coastal Western Australia and Genetic Connectivity Among Deep Seamount Communities off Tasmania


Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.


We used a fine scale wave model in shallow water to identify physical correlates of macroalgal species diversity in highly diverse reef communities in Western Australia. Wave induced surge at the seabed generated during extreme or storm events, modelled at the scale of metres, predicted species diversity in curvilinear relationship consistent with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis. At a much larger spatial scale, we are using particle dispersal modelling to predict dispersal and connectivity among seamount benthic communities off southern Tasmania. Seascape genetic patterns delineated by molecular markers will be used to evaluate how realised patterns of connectivity match those predicted from hydrodynamics. This understanding will play an integral role in evaluating the effectiveness of the extensive marine protected area network in south eastern Australia.


Next: March 3- Carolyn Porco, Ph.D.