OIST Marine Science Workshop Series. 1. Multi-Island Connectivity
This workshop will bring together leading theoretical and empirical experts working on marine ecosystems in various physical and biological settings. The workshop will serve as a forum for discussions of theoretical and applied marine biology arising from overlapping and complementary investigations, and is expected to foster outstanding international research and valuable collaborations with international institutes, especially in Southeast Asia and throughout the tropical Pacific Rim.
Capitalizing on the unique Okinawan environment and OIST’s cutting edge research facility, we should be able to develop novel marine science research projects and to attract outstanding marine scientists. We will also discuss objectives and research activities with other OIST units, such as Prof. Noriyuki Satoh’s Marine Genomics Unit to broaden perspectives and opportunities.
.SPECIFIC TOPIC FOR THE FIRST YEAR:
The objective of initial workshop is to focus on multi-island connectivity in Moorea (French Polynesia) and Okinawa (Nansei Islands) and to deepen existing knowledge and techniques for long-term monitoring with the help of researchers from the Moorea Coral Reef Long-Term Ecological Research site (http://mcr.lternet.edu/). This theme exploits two tropical locations that comprise networks of island s interconnected by geologic and hydrodynamic processes. We will evaluate the role of physical and biological processes that influence the resistance and resilience of coral reef communities as modulated by “supply-side ecology” represented by the delivery of coral larvae and their ability to recruit to benthic surfaces. Moorea and Okinawa offer a unique opportunity to compare effects of dissimilar biophysical processes (e.g., hydrodynamics, seawater chemistry, and thermal regimes) in locations with different intensities of corallivory, timing of coral reproduction, coral diversity, and other factors.
We will focus on the following questions:
- How does land scape-scale diversity affect reef resilience as modulated by recruitment?
- How does the “strength” of connectivity among adjacent islands on a land scape scale affect reef resilience/stability and modulate metapopulation dynamics in mediating community dynamics?
- How does synergy among local physical climatic drivers (temperature, light, pCO2, etc.) affect recruitment processes on focal islands and among adjacent islands?
Understanding the combined and interactive effects of diverse biological and physical drivers of recruitment, or how they combine to determine community resilience and stability in the face of major disturbances, is important both to distinguish the determinants of contemporary coral communities, and to predict how they will change in the future as a result of global climate change, ocean acidification, and a plethora of local disturbances. The questions at the core of this workshop will generate results with broad application to coral reef communities, and thus we seek to develop Okinawa and Moorea as model systems. This workshop should result in one or two published papers on this topic.
This workshop is open to anyone interested in the topic.