Biophysical models of larval dispersal in the Benguela Current ecosystem
We synthesise and update results from the suite of biophysical, larval-dispersal models developed in the Benguela Current ecosystem. Biophysical models of larval dispersal use outputs of physical hydrodynamic models as inputs to individual-based models in which biological processes acting during the larval life are included. In the Benguela, such models were first applied to simulate the dispersal of anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus and sardine Sardinops sagax ichthyoplankton, and more recently of the early life stages of chokka-squid Loligo reynaudii and Cape hakes Merluccius spp. We identify how the models have helped advance understanding of key processes for these species. We then discuss which aspects of the early life of marine species in the Benguela Current ecosystem are still not well understood and could benefit from new modelling studies.
Keywords: connectivity, coupled physical-biological model, early life stages, eggs and larvae, ichthyoplankton, Lagrangian model, Namibia, South Africa, upwelling system