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Seminar to Consider Link Between Turbulence and Spawning Success

Tal Ezer, a researcher with Old Dominion University's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography (CCPO), will present a CCPO seminar Monday, Jan. 31, on the interesting ways that water turbulence created by coral reefs can promote reproduction success in certain fishes.

The seminar, which is free and open to the public, will be in Room 3200 of Innovation Research Park Building 1 in University Village. A reception with refreshments begins at 3 p.m. and the seminar presentation follows at 3:30.

The topic of Ezer's talk is "Turbulent Flows Near Caribbean Coral Reefs and Fish Spawning Aggregations." He is a professor of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at ODU who is affiliated with CCPO as well as the university's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center.

Ezer's studies at Gladden Spit, a reef promontory off the coast of Belize show how - and why - this site serves as a spawning zone for 17 species of reef fishes. The way the shape of the reef generates water flow was examined using observations and high-resolution numerical ocean model simulations.

His findings suggest that the spawning site at the tip of the reef has the turbulence necessary to provide an initial strong dispersion of eggs to reduce predation. Then, a prevailing flow transports the eggs and larvae downstream of Gladden Spit toward a less turbulent region, which may contribute to enhanced larval survival.

This article was posted on: January 26, 2011

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