This project uses genetic parentage analysis, biophysical modelling and information on coral trout larval behaviour to determine patterns of recruitment of coral trout larvae within and among inshore and offshore reefs in the southern Great Barrier Reef. The overall goal of this project will be to assess larval dispersal patterns, demographic connectivity and levels of recruitment subsidies from green zones at a regional scale. Tasks include:
Collect tissue samples from adult and juvenile coral trout, develop a new set of hyper-variable microsatellite markers, conduct DNA genotyping analyses of all samples, carry out genetic parentage analysis to examine parent-offspring relationships.
Refine the existing biophysical model and assess likely origins of larvae at key recruitment hot spots in the region.
Undertake demographic metapopulation analyses using dispersal distances and trajectories derived from this study and available demographic data (growth, natural mortality, fishing mortality) to evaluate long-term persistence of green zone and blue zone populations under different levels of fishing pressure and habitat condition.