Larval Ecology 2023-24
School of Ocean Sciences
Module - Semester 1
Luis Gimenez Noya
This module will consider the environmental factors that determine (a) the distribution and abundance of a diversity of larval forms (b) growth and survival of organisms during the early life.
Topics covered are:
(1) Types of larvae and modes of development
(2) Links among life history and larval-specific traits: examples at inter and intra-specific level
(3) Patterns of distribution of larval forms according to latitude, temperature and salinity
(4) Ecological factors affecting spawning
(5) Ecological and evolutionary factors affecting larval release
(6) Pelagic larvae: quantification of larval mortality; effects of predation and salinity
(7) Pelagic larvae: effects of temperature and food
(8) Larval locomotion: behavioural responses to cues
(9) Larval transport and distribution: patterns and processes
(10) Processes affecting settlement and metamorphosis
(11) Supply side ecology: the important of larval supply and settlement for marine populations
(12) The role of larval behaviour and supply in determining the strength of post-settlement processes and community structure
(13) Trait mediated effects: the role of larval experience on post-metamorphic performance
-threshold - (D- grade) Knowledge and basic understanding reliant entirely on the taught programme. Basic understanding of subject-specific theories, concepts and principles. Presents a competent overview of an extreme habitat in their assessment
-good - (B grade) Wider knowledge and moderate understanding based on the taught programme, but with evidence of enquiry beyond that. Understanding of subject-specific theories, concepts and principles and some understanding of specialist areas. Presents a detailed, well researched and illustrated assessment showing clear understanding of the topic and questions posed.
-excellent - (A grade) A very wide knowledge base extending well beyond the directly taught programme showing an in-depth understanding of the concepts presented. Thorough understanding of subject-specific theories, concepts and principles and in-depth understanding of more specialist areas. Presents an insightful, carefully argued, illustrated assessment showing clear evidence of independent thought.
- Identify patterns of diversity of larval forms, and their response to ecological factors
- Understand applications of larval ecology to areas such as conservation, fishery management or climate change
- Understand how larval experience or patterns of larval settlement affect recruitment, population dynamics or community structure in benthic invertebrates
- Understand how larval respond and adapt to variable environmental conditions (temperature, food salinity, predator) existing in the pelagic habitat
- Understand how patterns of larval transport, distribution and settlement are driven by combinations of behaviour and hydrodynamics.
- Understand how processes affecting organisms at adult stages affect patterns of spawning, larval release as well as key larval traits
- Understand main theories and hypotheses about recruitment of marine organisms