Connectivity and Management of Caribbean Coral Reefs

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Science  21 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5342, pp. 1454-1457
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5342.1454

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Surface current patterns were used to map dispersal routes of pelagic larvae from 18 coral reef sites in the Caribbean. The sites varied, both as sources and recipients of larvae, by an order of magnitude. It is likely that sites supplied copiously from “upstream” reef areas will be more resilient to recruitment overfishing, less susceptible to species loss, and less reliant on local management than places with little upstream reef. The mapping of connectivity patterns will enable the identification of beneficial management partnerships among nations and the design of networks of interdependent reserves.

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