Rare events can have large impacts. It only takes a small number of individuals to successfully disperse and incorporate into a population to maintain gene flow or seed a new population. These events can be driven by physical transport by storms and mesoscale eddies and fronts and/or biological events such as phytoplankton blooms. Many of these ‘events’ are predicted to be increasing in strength and frequency. We are partnering with modelers and physical oceanographers to combine larval abundance and recruitment observations with transport potential to understand the impact of these rare events on how and when larvae connect populations.
Check out some of our work on dispersal events at hydrothermal vents published in Science.