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Áurea Rodríguez SantiagoCentral New York – Puerto Rico AGEP
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
My work focus on ichthyoplankton ecology, lately I have been working on genetic species identification of snapper fish larvae, because of the difficulty of their identification using conventional morphological techniques and the importance in the understanding their life cycles and the. This research is integrated within some others related to the extend of dispersal of coral reef fishes on their larval stages and the implications on the capacity of those larval fishes to subsist and settle in other reefs away from where they were born or if they are retained near, within natal reefs. So, there is a question on if whether populations of coral reef fishes are open or closed, meaning there a “big whole” population or if there are subpopulations that sustain themselves within the Caribbean. This is known as connectivity and recently many studies suggest that those populations are more “closed” that previously thought. Now there is another concern; to determine the scale and size of those subpopulations.
The understanding of those dynamics is relevant to the evaluation of strategies for the implementation of Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) that include No take Marine Reserves (NTMR’s), which can help to reestablish the declining stocks of many overexploited coral reef fishes.
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