Estimating time-dependent connectivity in marine systems
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Hydrodynamic connectivity describes the sources and destinations of water parcels within a domain over a given time. When combined with biological models, it can be a powerful concept to explain the patterns of constituent dispersal within marine ecosystems. However, providing connectivity metrics for a given domain is a three-dimensional problem: two dimensions in space to define the sources and destinations and a time dimension to evaluate connectivity at varying temporal scales. If the time scale of interest is not predefined, then a general approach is required to describe connectivity over different time scales. For this purpose, we have introduced the concept of a “retention clock” that highlights the change in connectivity through time. Using the example of connectivity between protected areas within Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, we show that a retention clock matrix is an informative tool for multitemporal analysis of connectivity.
This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016): 1193–1201, doi:10.1002/2015GL066888.
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