The work is reported by Heather M. Galindo and Stephen R. Palumbi of Stanford University, and Donald B. Olson of the University of Miami, and appears in the August 22nd issue of Current Biology, published by Cell Press.
Effective marine management and conservation planning require a better understanding of the movement of young marine animals, including small larvae, in part because such movements facilitate normal biological connections among geographically separate populations. Although tiny larvae are impossible to follow directly, advances in modeling ocean currents have made it possible to predict larval movements. However, until now it has remained difficult to test these movement predictions in the field by comparing the model to data from population genetic studies.
The new work enables scientists to field-test such predictions and thereby hone our understanding of how marine larvae disperse in the environment and influence the structure of adult populations. In their study, the researchers coupled two types of models: One model predicts the movements of "virtual" coral larvae in the Caribbean Sea based on ocean currents, while the second model gives the virtual larvae a genetic tag. The researchers then tested this new approach by comparing the new model's predictions to empirical genetic data for threatened staghorn corals. This test showed that combining the oceanographic and genetic models allowed the researchers to successfully predict genetic patterns on a regional scale. This breakthrough approach to integrating genetic and oceanographic models helps predict genetic links among several locations and is an important new tool for the management and ecological study of marine protected areas.
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Dead trees are alive with fungi
10.01.2018 | Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
Management of mountain meadows influences resilience to climate extremes
10.01.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered a mechanism that amplifies the autoimmune reaction in an early stage of pancreatic islet autoimmunity prior to the progression to clinical type 1 diabetes. If the researchers blocked the corresponding molecules, the immune system was significantly less active. The study was conducted under the auspices of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and was published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disease in childhood and adolescence. In this disease, the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the...
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15.01.2018 | Life Sciences