Mechanisms of Cross-Shelf Dispersal of Larval Invertebrates and Fish
Most intertidal and benthic subtidal invertebrates and fish produce planktonic larvae. This chapter presents more or less accepted or documented mechanisms of larval dispersal and migration via coastal currents. It focuses on the potential role of other and unproven mechanisms of larval dispersal and migration. One possible means by which larvae might control their dispersal and migration is via horizontal swimming. A number of studies have attempted to correlate the wind vector during the dispersal of some type of larvae with the eventual recruitment of individuals to an adult population. A number of studies have investigated the vertical migratory behavior of meroplankton inhabiting the waters of the continental shelf. Internal waves generated by the tides at the continental shelf break propagate shoreward into shoaling waters. Differences in the density of water across the continental shelf can generate cross-shelf currents. In at least one locality researchers have hypothesized that these currents could cause the cross-shelf transport of larvae.