Persistence of self-recruitment and patterns of larval connectivity in a marine protected area network

Michael L. Berumen, Glenn R. Almany, Serge Planes, Geoffrey P Jones, Pablo Saenz Agudelo, Simon R. Thorrold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


The use of marine protected area (MPA) networks to sustain fisheries and conserve biodiversity is predicated on two critical yet rarely tested assumptions. Individual MPAs must produce sufficient larvae that settle within that reserve's boundaries to maintain local populations while simultaneously supplying larvae to other MPA nodes in the network that might otherwise suffer local extinction. Here, we use genetic parentage analysis to demonstrate that patterns of self-recruitment of two reef fishes (Amphiprion percula and Chaetodon vagabundus) in an MPA in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, were remarkably consistent over several years. However, dispersal from this reserve to two other nodes in an MPA network varied between species and through time. The stability of our estimates of self-recruitment suggests that even small MPAs may be self-sustaining. However, our results caution against applying optimization strategies to MPA network design without accounting for variable connectivity among species and over time. 2012 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-452
Number of pages9
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2012

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


Dive into the research topics of 'Persistence of self-recruitment and patterns of larval connectivity in a marine protected area network'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this