Larval Connectivity

Click on an image below for region-specific larval connectivity products.

Hawai'i Connectivity

Florida Connectivity


Product Description

Connectivity among coral reefs has been identified as a critically important factor in resilience, specifically in regard to recovery from disturbance. NOAA Coral Reef Watch has developed maps identifying the level of importance of specific reefs in Hawai'i and Florida for potential re-seeding of other reefs following disturbance. These Connectivity tools directly contribute to new and ongoing resilience assessments and planning of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), MPA networks, and other conservation strategies.

Potential connectivity among coral reefs is determined by tracking simulated larval releases from each reef location. Modeled ocean currents were applied to track virtual particles using a biophysical dispersal model. Additional parameters to the simulation modeling included bathymetry and reef location data. Product maps show the relative importance of each reef location as a larval source and/or as a destination. Connectivity matrices reveal the link between each reef pair, and the strength of links is summarized for sub-regions.