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Launching Ecostructure's Online Larval Dispersal Modelling Tool

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Launching Ecostructure's Online Larval Dispersal Modelling Tool

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Event Context

The introduction of marine non-native species — and their subsequent establishment and spread — is recognised as a significant environmental threat, with potentially far-reaching economic and ecological consequences. A range of vectors can introduce marine non-native species, including commercial shipping, aquaculture, and recreational boating. Management of such vectors through the implementation of appropriate biosecurity protocols can limit introduction and spread of non-native species, but once introduced into a region, natural dispersal plays an important role. Understanding patterns of natural dispersal from points of initial introduction can direct management efforts to appropriate areas, such as zones of likely accumulation, and give early warning of arrival to new areas.

Online Larval Dispersal Tool

Our understanding of the mechanisms of dispersal of marine invertebrates through their larval stages and our ability to predict dispersal through understanding of shelf sea and coastal hydrodynamics has made important advances over the last 20 years. However, such predictive capacity is rarely available to coastal managers in an accessible and timely manner. Funding of the Ecostructure project from the European Regional Development Fund has enabled researchers at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, to produce a freely-available online tool for coastal managers to facilitate rapid prediction of dispersal of marine invertebrate larvae from over 100 coastal locations around the Irish Sea. The tool allows selection of release location, season of release, length of larval lifetime and larval behaviour, all factors which are known to have significant impact on dispersal patterns.

While the motivation for this work comes directly from our interests in marine non-native species management, we anticipate this tool being of interest to a range of users including educators and those interested in dispersion of contaminants such as plastics and oil.

Launch Event

Ecostructure is hosting a one-hour webinar to introduce the freely-available ‘Online Dispersal Tool’. We will explain the background to biophysical modelling, the biological and ecological importance of dispersal, as well as how to use the tool. During the webinar there will be an opportunity to use the tool and address questions to researchers.

[Cymraeg]

Cydnabyddir bod y modd y caiff rhywogaethau estron morol eu cyflwyno — a’r modd y maent yn ymsefydlu ac yn gwasgaru wedyn — yn fygythiad amgylcheddol o bwys, a allai arwain at ganlyniadau economaidd ac ecolegol pellgyrhaeddol. Gall ystod o gludyddion gyflwyno rhywogaethau estron morol, gan gynnwys llongau masnachol, gweithgareddau dyframaethu a chychod hamdden. Gall rheoli’r cludyddion hynny drwy weithredu protocolau bioddiogelwch priodol gyfyngu’r graddau y caiff rhywogaethau estron eu cyflwyno a’r graddau y byddant yn ymledu, ond pan fyddant wedi’u cyflwyno i ranbarth bydd dulliau gwasgaru naturiol yn chwarae rhan bwysig. Gall deall patrymau gwasgaru naturiol o’r pwyntiau cyflwyno cychwynnol gyfeirio ymdrechion rheoli at ardaloedd priodol, er enghraifft y parthau lle mae rhywogaeth yn debygol o gronni, a rhoi rhybudd cynnar bod rhywogaeth wedi cyrraedd ardaloedd newydd.

Mae ein dealltwriaeth o ddulliau gwasgaru infertebrata morol drwy eu cyfnodau fel larfâu, a’n gallu i ragweld gwasgariad drwy ddeall hydrodynameg môr sydd ar ysgafell a hydrodynameg arfordirol, wedi bod yn fodd i gyflawni rhai datblygiadau o bwys yn ystod yr 20 mlynedd diwethaf. Fodd bynnag, prin y mae capasiti o’r fath i ragweld gwasgariad ar gael i reolwyr arfordirol mewn modd hygyrch ac amserol. Mae cyllid gan Gronfa Datblygu Rhanbarthol Ewrop i brosiect Ecostructure wedi galluogi ymchwilwyr yn yr Ysgol Gwyddorau Eigion ym Mhrifysgol Bangor i lunio adnodd ar-lein ar gyfer rheolwyr arfordirol, a fydd ar gael yn rhad ac am ddim, er mwyn hwyluso’r gwaith o ragweld yn sydyn wasgariad larfâu infertebrata morol o dros 100 o leoliadau arfordirol o amgylch Môr Iwerddon. Mae’r adnodd yn ei gwneud yn bosibl dewis lleoliad rhyddhau, tymor rhyddhau, hyd y cyfnod fel larfa ac ymddygiad fel larfa, sydd i gyd yn ffactorau y gwyddys eu bod yn effeithio’n fawr ar batrymau gwasgaru.

Er bod y cymhelliad i gyflawni’r gwaith hwn yn deillio’n uniongyrchol o’n diddordeb mewn rheoli rhywogaethau estron morol, rydym yn disgwyl y bydd yr adnodd hwn o ddiddordeb i amrywiaeth o ddefnyddwyr, gan gynnwys addysgwyr a phobl sydd â diddordeb yn y modd y mae halogyddion megis plastigau ac olew’n gwasgaru.

Byddwn yn cynnal weminar awr o hyd i gyflwyno’r ‘Adnodd Ar-lein ar gyfer Modelu Gwasgariad’, a fydd ar gael yn rhad ac am ddim. Byddwn yn esbonio’r cefndir i waith modelu bioffisegol ac yn esbonio pwysigrwydd biolegol ac ecolegol gwasgariad, a byddwn yn egluro sut mae defnyddio’r adnodd. Yn ystod y weminar, bydd cyfle i ddefnyddio’r adnodd a gofyn cwestiynau i ymchwilwyr.

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