Marine Functional Connectivity: from different approaches to a common definition

Updated: Apr 23, 2021


The goal of this workshop was to provide a high-level overview of the main methods currently used to evaluate and predict Marine Functional Connectivity (MFC), and to discuss what each discipline actually means by MFC. The final objective was to start unifying terms and concepts across all MFC research fields.


The workshop gathered more than 70 participants from 26 countries (including 20 Early Career Investigators) for two morning zoom sessions.


On Day 1, experts in each field gave a brief overview of the main methods used to generate and predict MFC data, covering four broad methodological areas:

1) Connectivity modelling (e.g. biophysical modelling, niche modelling)

2) Biogeochemical tracers (e.g. isotopes and element concentrations in otoliths, scales, eye lenses, soft tissues)

3) Genetic approaches (e.g. population genetics, parentage analysis, eDNA)

4) Artificial tags (e.g. mark-recapture, acoustic tags, data storage tags, satellite tags)


Participants were then assigned to different breakout rooms and asked to identify key terminology and methodological information (e.g. temporal/spatial scale, data types) in each discipline in order to start building a ‘MFC glossary of terms’.


On Day 2, we discussed how nuances associated with different methods might affect their future integration and application and then focussed on unifying our definition of MFC.


Contacts:

Susanne Tanner: setanner@fc.ul.pt

Anna Sturrock: anna.sturrock@essex.ac.uk

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