Abstract: The dynamics of metapopulations are governed by many factors, including the spatial structure of populations across the landscape, life-history characteristics, demographic processes, and the movement of individuals between populations. Although we have made significant advances in our understanding of these individual factors, developing an integrated approach to studying this complex process from reproduction to the successful recruitment and survival of individuals has been difficult, particularly in marine systems. In this presentation, I’ll describe how we explore these interactions and resultant geographic patterns, focussing largely on temperate and tropical reefs systems. Using a spatially-explicit biophysical model of larval dispersal and graph theory, I’ll quantify the influence of key biological and physical parameters on successful larval settlement. Through a series of case studies, I’ll illustrate how these approaches help us understand biodiversity patterns and assist us in making more ecologically and spatially meaningful management decisions.
Biography: Eric Treml is a Senior Lecturer in Marine Ecology at Deakin University, VIC. His academic background is in marine ecology, landscape ecology, coastal management, and the geospatial sciences. Currently, Treml’s research interests are in understanding the causes and consequences of population connectivity and assisting in local-to-global conservation prioritisation, particularly considering the current climate trends. He uses a variety of tools, including numerical modelling, geographic information systems, spatially-explicit dynamic modelling, spatial statistics, and network analysis.