Linking local retention, self-recruitment, and persistence in marine metapopulations

Christophe Lett, Tri Nguyen-Huu, Marion Cuif, Pablo Saenz Agudelo, David M. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Three indices of larval retention have been used in the literature to assess the tendency for self-maintenance of local marine populations: local retention (LR), self-recruitment (SR), and relative local retention (RLR). Only one of these, LR, defined as the ratio of locally produced settlement to local egg production, has a clear relationship to self-persistence of individual sites. However, SR, the ratio of locally produced settlement to settlement of all origins at a site, is generally easier to measure experimentally. We use theoretical, simulation, and empirical approaches to bridge the gap between these different indices, and demonstrate that there is a proportional relationship between SR and LR for metapopulations close to a stable state and with lifetime egg production (LEP) approximately uniform over space. Similarly, for systems where larval mortality rates are a relatively uniform function of release site, RLR (defined as the ratio of locally produced settlement to all settlement of local origin) and LR will also be proportional. Therefore, SR and RLR provide information on relative rates of LR for systems satisfying these conditions. Furthermore, the ratio between LR and SR can be used to evaluate global persistence of metapopulations, and therefore provides valuable information not necessarily available if only LR is considered.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2236-2244
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 18 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the COMPO project (Connectivity
Of Marine POpulations,
through a grant from the French National Research Agency
(ANR), grant number 2010 JCJC 1701 01. We thank J. Wilson
White and an anonymous reviewer for their useful comments.


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