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Active buoyancy adjustment increases dispersal potential in benthic marine animals

Movement is among the fundamental components of life, and a key determinant of community structure (Bie et al., 2012), population and ecosystem connectivity (Baguette, Blanchet, Legrand, Stevens, & Turlure, 2013), and ecological and evolutionary processes (Nathan et al., 2008). Understanding why and how organisms disperse is also central to wildlife management and conservation (Allen & Singh, 2016). Overall, the interplay between adaptation and dispersal determines the persistence of species in a dynamic and ever‐changing world (Berg et al., 2010). Various dispersal attributes and strategies have evolved among terrestrial and aquatic organisms to offset the associated costs of movement (Bonte et al., 2012). Some organisms are motile throughout their lives, whereas others are adapted to undergo movement at precise, limited phases of their life cycles, commonly called the dispersive phase(s) (Allen, Metaxas, & Snelgrove, 2018). The life‐history strategies of organisms are often driven by the nature and circumstances of their dispersive phases (e.g. restricted or prolonged, active or passive). In the marine realm, movement ecology focuses on large pelagic megafauna (Hays et al., 2016; Sequeira et al., 2018), with fewer data on non‐vertebrate benthic taxa (Holyoak, Casagrandi, Nathan, Revilla, & Spiegel, 2008) despite the fact that they form the bulk of marine macrofaunal biodiversity.

Learn more by reading the full publication in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Animal Ecology ...