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Post-settlement events influence on coral population structure: A multi-scale analysis along a latitudinal gradient (PSICoPopS)
Start date: Oct 1, 2008, End date: Aug 31, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Albeit recruitment processes are known to influence spatial patterns of adult coral assemblages, the relative influence of recruitment processes vs. post-settlement events in population maintenance remains poorly known. Yet, understanding how populations are maintained is pre-requisite for efficient management. This program proposes to study the influence of post-settlement events on adult population structure in several habitats and islands of three regions following a latitudinal gradient: Australian Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia, and French Polynesia. This will allow to better understanding influence of early post-settlement events on population maintenance at local, insular and regional scale. In this goal, recruit and juvenile mortality and growth of several coral taxa with different life-history traits will be assessed as well as adult population structure, following a hierarchical sampling design. This program is a collaborative project between UMR CNRS EPHE UPVD 5244 “Tropical and Mediterranean Biology and Ecology” in Perpignan (France) and ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville (Australia). Both of these teams are at the cutting edge of coral reef ecology, respectively ranked 1st in Europe and 1st in the world.

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