CHAPTER 1 - The Merging of Metapopulation Theory and Marine Ecology: Establishing the Historical Context
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Publisher SummaryThe Merging of Metapopulation Theory and Marine Ecology This chapter considers three general explanations for the pattern of use of metapopulation ideas in marine ecology. The chapter examines whether there are fundamental differences between marine and terrestrial systems that limit the use of theory developed primarily in one context for use in the other context. Such an examination is done through a critical assessment of how metapopulation theory is used in terrestrial ecology and suggests likely differences in the application of metapopulation theory to marine systems. The slow adoption of a metapopulation paradigm in marine ecology might have been a direct consequence of the pattern of development of ideas. Questions in marine ecology have been explored, and the extent to which marine environmental management and conservation may have helped initiate and now continue to drive the application of metapopulation theory has been examined. Although it might be logical for marine ecology and fisheries management science to interact closely, there has been a long history of marine ecology borrowing concepts and theories from terrestrial ecology. Although marine and terrestrial systems have in common the fact that populations are patchily distributed, it is clear that marine systems differ from terrestrial ones. Marine ecology came to adopt metapopulation theory by way of its rediscovery of the importance of larval dispersal and recruitment dynamics.

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