Larvae of coastal-marine fishes have been shown repeatedly to swim directionally in the pelagic environment. Yet, biophysical models of larval dispersal typically impose a Simple Random Walk (SRW) algorithm to simulate non-directional movement in the open ocean. Here we investigate the use of a Correlated Random Walk (CRW) algorithm; imposing auto-correlated directional swimming onto simulated larvae within a high-resolution 3D biophysical model of the Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea. Our findings demonstrate that implementation of auto-correlated directional swimming can result in an increase of up to ×2.7 in the estimated success rate of larval-settlement, as well as an increase in the extent of connectivity. With accumulating empirical support for the capacity for directional-swimming during the pelagic phase, we propose that CRW should be applied in biophysical models of dispersal by coastal marine fish-larvae.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation – ocean technology and interdisciplinary coordination (Grant # 1155698 to CP), and by the United States-Israel Bi-national Science Foundation (Grant # 2008144 to CP and MK).
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd
- Correlated random walk
- Directional swimming
- Gulf of Aqaba
- Larval dispersal