Demographic Variation within Spatially Structured Reef Fish Populations: When are Larger-bodied Subpopulations More Important?
Environmental heterogeneity frequently induces spatial variability in somatic growth, which can cause inter-population differences in reproductive output among organisms for which fecundity is dependent upon body size. Mean asymptotic body size, L∞, varies among populations of several reef fish species. Our study suggests that variation in L∞ within a network of interconnected subpopulations may not be an important determinant of population behavior under certain conditions, but might be important in coping with periods of persistent, system-wide recruitment failure. Key words: Growth, Asymptotic size, Recruitment variability, Spatial structure, Dispersal