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.
This study performed connectivity simulations over different pelagic propagules durations and different reproductive seasons, covering most of the possible dispersal behaviour variability.
The obtained 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.
The results also evidenced gaps in the existing network of protected mesophotic biogenic habitats in the northern Adriatic Sea. The authors 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.
Bandelj et al. (2020) Cross-scale connectivity of microbenthic communities in a patchy network of habitats: The mesophotic biogenic habitats of the northern Adriatic Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 245: 106978.