Coral Reefs

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 115–123 | Cite as

Modelling the larval dispersal of Acanthaster planci

I. Large scale hydrodynamics, Cairns Section, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • I. J. Dight
  • L. Bode
  • M. K. James


The desire to understand the observed patterns of Acanthaster population spread throughout the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has necessitated the development of numerical models which are capable of simulating the hydrodynamics associated with large assemblages of reefs over the time scale of larval dispersal. Models are presented which provide an overview of the physical processes controlling the advection of larvae within the Cairns Section of the GBR Marine Park, on the scale of tens to hundreds of kilometres. The relevant scales and relative importance of the distinct processes are discussed. The models are based on a previously tested numerical hydrodynamic model and are validated by comparison with observations documented in the physical oceanographic literature. Overall, model outputs correspond well to our understanding of the large-scale features and dynamics of water circulation over the continental shelf. Regional variation in circulation predicted by the models may result in significant differences in the movement of larvae.


Numerical Model Advection Physical Process Regional Variation Model Output 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. J. Dight
    • 1
  • L. Bode
    • 1
  • M. K. James
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Systems EngineeringJames Cook University of North QueenslandTownsvilleAustralia

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