Siphelele Dyantyi

MSc Candidate
Siphelele Dyantyi


Mesoscale Alongshore Transport of Larvae

Marine organisms such as mussels have a pelagic larval stage which is important in maintaining coastal populations of adults. The survival and transport of larvae to settlement sites can be key determinants of the adult population. The aquatic habitat is dynamic, offering several means of dispersal for larvae with limited swimming abilities. Several factors influence dispersal such as biological, physical and oceanographic. These factors can include behaviour of the larvae, wind and currents in the ocean. The mechanisms that influence larval transport and delivery to the adult/settlement sites remain poorly understood. The aim of my MSc is to investigate the alongshore transport of larvae at four sites on the south east coast of Eastern Cape. Mussels (Perna perna, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Choromytilus meridionalis) and barnacles (Chthamalus dentatus, Octomeris angulosa, Tetraclita serrata) are the targeted species for this project. The abundance of larvae is being determined at four nearshore sites (Kenton-on Sea, Cannon Rocks, Schoenmakerskop and Cape St. Francis), while delivery of larvae is being monitored intertidally, by deploying settlement/recruitment collectors at sites adjacent the nearshore ones. The results and knowledge acquired from the project will be of great importance and use. Economically and ecologically, this study of larval connectivity will help in better restoration, conservation, marine policy planning, coastal development and the designing of marine protected areas.

Registered: Rhodes University, Department of Zoology & Entomology
Supervisors: Dr Francesca Porri (SAIAB) and Prof Christopher D. McQuaid (Rhodes University, Dept. Zoology & Entomology)