MEPS 256:205-216 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps256205

Movement patterns, home range, and habitat utilization of adult kelp bass Paralabrax clathratus in a temperate no-take marine reserve

Christopher G. Lowe*, Darin T. Topping, Daniel P. Cartamil, Yannis P. Papastamatiou

Dept. of Biological Sciences, California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, California 90840, USA

ABSTRACT: Home range, activity patterns, site fidelity and habitat preference of the kelp bass Paralabrax clathratus were determined from 12 adult fish tracked using acoustic telemetry within a temperate no-take marine reserve (0.13 km2). Home range sizes ranged from 33 to 11224 m2, averaging 3349 ± 3328 m2 (±SD), but did not correlate with fish size. Fish were active and occupied similar-sized activity spaces during both day and night. Kelp bass exhibited a high degree of site fidelity, remaining resident in core areas for up to 3 yr. Relative to the total amount of available habitat, kelp bass showed a habitat selection preference for rock boulder, rock rubble and kelp habitat. These habitats offer high vertical relief, shade and large holes for shelter, and may attract and facilitate prey capture. Average home range size was 3% of the area of the reserve. Only 1 of 12 tracked fish crossed the reserve boundary, but this accounted for less than 5% of the fish¹s time. Natural habitat breaks along the reserve boundary may have further limited adult kelp bass movements. The small home ranges and high site fidelity of kelp bass in this reserve indicate that the reserve is effective in protecting the resident adult stock.


KEY WORDS: Movements · Diel · Site fidelity · Marine reserves · Activity · Habitat preference


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