Connectivity is a fundamental ecological property affecting stability, resilience and recovery of marine populations, in particular in networks of patchy habitats as the Mesophotic Biogenic Habitats of the Northern Adriatic Sea. Specific information on the dispersal behaviour of many species living in these habitats is lacking, thus the connectivity simulations were performed over different pelagic propagules duration and different reproductive seasons of six consecutive years, covering most of the possible dispersal behaviour variability. The connectivity simulations were analysed with graph analysis methods by characterizing each connectivity graph with several structural measures and by identifying sites with greatest individual and group centrality. We tested the hypothesis that geographic proximity of sites cannot be a proxy for the connectivity and that hydrodynamic connectivity is statistically significantly related to the observed beta diversity among the studied sites. Results showed that species with different pelagic propagules duration follow greatly different dispersal dynamics, and that the network of studied outcrops is only partially connected to coastal benthic populations. Our results also made possible a critical appraisal of the current conservation strategies, evidencing gaps in the existing network of protected Mesophotic Biogenic Habitats in the Northern Adriatic Sea. We suggest possible improvements for an efficient preservation strategy of these unique biodiversity hotspots by including a fundamental ecological process, the dispersal connectivity, into the process of decision making for conservation.

Connectivity is a fundamental ecological property affecting stability, resilience and recovery of marine pop­ ulations, in particular in networks of patchy habitats as the Mesophotic Biogenic Habitats of the Northern Adriatic Sea. Specific information on the dispersal behaviour of many species living in these habitats is lacking, thus the connectivity simulations were performed over different pelagic propagules duration and different reproductive seasons of six consecutive years, covering most of the possible dispersal behaviour variability. The connectivity simulations were analysed with graph analysis methods by characterizing each connectivity graph with several structural measures and by identifying sites with greatest individual and group centrality. We tested the hypothesis that geographic proximity of sites cannot be a proxy for the connectivity and that hydrodynamic connectivity is statistically significantly related to the observed beta diversity among the studied sites. Results showed that species with different pelagic propagules duration follow greatly different dispersal dynamics, and that the network of studied outcrops is only partially connected to coastal benthic populations. Our results also made possible a critical appraisal of the current conservation strategies, evidencing gaps in the existing network of protected Mesophotic Biogenic Habitats in the Northern Adriatic Sea. We suggest possible improvements for an efficient preservation strategy of these unique biodiversity hotspots by including a fundamental ecological process, the dispersal connectivity, into the process of decision making for conservation.

Cross-scale connectivity of macrobenthic communities in a patchy network of habitats: The Mesophotic Biogenic Habitats of the Northern Adriatic Sea

Bandelj V;Solidoro C;Laurent C;Querin S;Gianni F;
2020

Abstract

Connectivity is a fundamental ecological property affecting stability, resilience and recovery of marine populations, in particular in networks of patchy habitats as the Mesophotic Biogenic Habitats of the Northern Adriatic Sea. Specific information on the dispersal behaviour of many species living in these habitats is lacking, thus the connectivity simulations were performed over different pelagic propagules duration and different reproductive seasons of six consecutive years, covering most of the possible dispersal behaviour variability. The connectivity simulations were analysed with graph analysis methods by characterizing each connectivity graph with several structural measures and by identifying sites with greatest individual and group centrality. We tested the hypothesis that geographic proximity of sites cannot be a proxy for the connectivity and that hydrodynamic connectivity is statistically significantly related to the observed beta diversity among the studied sites. Results showed that species with different pelagic propagules duration follow greatly different dispersal dynamics, and that the network of studied outcrops is only partially connected to coastal benthic populations. Our results also made possible a critical appraisal of the current conservation strategies, evidencing gaps in the existing network of protected Mesophotic Biogenic Habitats in the Northern Adriatic Sea. We suggest possible improvements for an efficient preservation strategy of these unique biodiversity hotspots by including a fundamental ecological process, the dispersal connectivity, into the process of decision making for conservation.
Connectivity is a fundamental ecological property affecting stability, resilience and recovery of marine pop­ ulations, in particular in networks of patchy habitats as the Mesophotic Biogenic Habitats of the Northern Adriatic Sea. Specific information on the dispersal behaviour of many species living in these habitats is lacking, thus the connectivity simulations were performed over different pelagic propagules duration and different reproductive seasons of six consecutive years, covering most of the possible dispersal behaviour variability. The connectivity simulations were analysed with graph analysis methods by characterizing each connectivity graph with several structural measures and by identifying sites with greatest individual and group centrality. We tested the hypothesis that geographic proximity of sites cannot be a proxy for the connectivity and that hydrodynamic connectivity is statistically significantly related to the observed beta diversity among the studied sites. Results showed that species with different pelagic propagules duration follow greatly different dispersal dynamics, and that the network of studied outcrops is only partially connected to coastal benthic populations. Our results also made possible a critical appraisal of the current conservation strategies, evidencing gaps in the existing network of protected Mesophotic Biogenic Habitats in the Northern Adriatic Sea. We suggest possible improvements for an efficient preservation strategy of these unique biodiversity hotspots by including a fundamental ecological process, the dispersal connectivity, into the process of decision making for conservation.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Bandelj et al. - 2020 - Cross-scale connectivity of macrobenthic communiti.pdf

Riservato

Tipologia: Altro materiale allegato
Licenza: Non specificato
Dimensione 4.12 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.12 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/1630
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
social impact