MEPS 312:291-295 (2006) - doi:10.3354/meps312291
Marine nurseries and effective juvenile habitats: concepts and applications
Craig P. Dahlgren1,*, G. Todd Kellison2,10, Aaron J. Adams3, Bronwyn M. Gillanders4, Matthew S. Kendall5, Craig A. Layman6, Janet A. Ley7, Ivan Nagelkerken8, Joseph E. Serafy9
ABSTRACT: Much recent attention has been focused on juvenile fish and invertebrate habitat use, particularly defining and identifying marine nurseries. The most significant advancement in this area has been the development of a standardized framework for assessing the relative importance of juvenile habitats and classifying the most productive as nurseries. Within this framework, a marine nursery is defined as a juvenile habitat for a particular species that contributes a greater than average number of individuals to the adult population on a per-unit-area basis, as compared to other habitats used by juveniles. While the nursery definition and framework provides a powerful approach to identifying habitats for conservation and restoration efforts, it can omit habitats that have a small per-unit-area contribution to adult populations, but may be essential for sustaining adult populations. Here we build on the nursery concept by developing a framework for evaluating juvenile habitats based on their overall contribution to adult populations, and introduce the concept of Effective Juvenile Habitat (EJH) to refer to habitats that make a greater than average overall contribution to adult populations.
KEY WORDS: Habitat · Juvenile · Nursery · Nearshore
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