New paper in press: Connectivity structures local populations dynamics: a long-term empirical test in a large metapopulation system
A new paper with several coauthors at UCSB, UCSC, UCLA, and UW-M is now in press at Ecology. We combined large-scale, long-term, satellite surveys of giant kelp with novel patch-identification methods and oceanographic models to show that connectivity (the movement of kelp spores) strongly predicts local population dynamics by boosting the probability of colonization and reducing the probability of extinction. Our results provide the first comprehensive evidence that southern California giant kelp forests--which are critical coastal habitats in California and worldwide—function as a metapopulation system. A PDF pre-print is available here.
Photo credit: S. Stasi