Graph theoretic topology of the Great but small Barrier Reef world

Kininmonth, Stuart J., De'ath, Glenn and Possingham, Hugh P. (2010) Graph theoretic topology of the Great but small Barrier Reef world. Theoretical Ecology, 3 2: 75-88. doi:10.1007/s12080-009-0055-3

Author Kininmonth, Stuart J.
De'ath, Glenn
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Graph theoretic topology of the Great but small Barrier Reef world
Journal name Theoretical Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1874-1738
Publication date 2010-05-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s12080-009-0055-3
Volume 3
Issue 2
Start page 75
End page 88
Total pages 14
Editor Alan Hastings
Place of publication New York, NY, U.S.A.
Publisher Springer Science + Business Media
Language eng
Subject 060207 Population Ecology
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Formatted abstract
The transport of larvae between coral reefs is critical to the functioning of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) because it determines recruitment rates and genetic exchange. One way of modelling the transport of larvae from one reef to another is to use information about currents. However the connectivity relationships of the entire system have not been fully examined. Graph theory provides a framework for the representation and analysis of connections via larval transport. In the past, the geometric arrangement (topology) of biological systems, such as food webs and neural networks, has revealed a common set of characteristics known as the ‘small world’ property. We use graph theory to examine and describe the topology and connectivity of a species living in 321 reefs in the central section of the GBR over 32 years. This section of the GBR can be described by a directional weighted graph, and we discovered that it exhibits scale-free small-world characteristics. The conclusion that the GBR is a small-world network for biological organisms is robust to variation in both the life history of the species modelled and yearly variation in hydrodynamics. The GBR is the first reported mesoscale biological small-world network.
© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009
Keyword Small world
Coral reefs
Scale free
Graph Theory
Landscape connectivity
Metabolic networks
Larval dispersal
Complex networks
Marine reserves
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Sat, 09 Jan 2010, 00:50:39 EST by Hayley Ware on behalf of School of Biological Sciences