DISPERSAL PATTERN OF CORAL LARVAE IN KUANTAN COASTAL WATERS, MALAYSIA
Journal: Science Heritage Journal | Galeri Warisan Sains (GWS)
Author: Muhammad Faiz Mohd Hanapiah, Shahbudin Saad, Zuhairi Ahmad
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Understanding source and sink pattern of coral larvae is among the key elements for effective ecosystem management and future habitat restoration. This study examined dispersal pattern of coral larvae among three known inshore reefs (Pulau Ular, Balok Reef and Raja Muda reef) in Kuantan coastal waters by simulating virtual larvae trajectories during spawning event in 2018. Dispersal pathways were modelled and constructed by incorporating biological traits (timing of spawning and pelagic larvae duration) using Langragian particle tracking module integrated with 2-dimensional, hydrodynamic, flexible network model (MIKE 21 FM). Results indicated that Acroporid larvae moved in southward direction throughout dispersal period. Source and sink dynamic suggested that Pulau Ular has high larvae retention (70%) in which most of larvae originated from natal reef. Balok reef was dominant source of larvae for Raja Muda reef. Results also indicated that patches reefs near Raja Muda was ideal sink site for coral larvae and should be prioritized for future ecosystem management action.