MEPS 420:145-156 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08849

Estimating spatial distribution of American lobster Homarus americanus using habitat variables

Jui-Han Chang1,*, Yong Chen1, Daniel Holland2, Jonathan Grabowski2

1School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA
2Gulf of Maine Research Institute, 350 Commercial Street, Portland, Maine 04101, USA

ABSTRACT: The spatial distribution of the American lobster Homarus americanus is influenced by many factors, which are often difficult to quantify. We implemented a modeling approach for quantifying season-, size-, and sex-specific lobster spatial distribution in the Gulf of Maine with respect to environmental and spatial variables including bottom temperature, bottom salinity, latitude, longitude, depth, distance offshore, and 2 substratum features. Lobster distribution was strongly associated with temperature and depth, and differed seasonally by sex. In offshore waters in the fall, females were dominant at higher latitudes and males at lower latitudes. This segregation was not apparent in the spring although females were still dominant at higher latitudes in offshore waters. Juveniles and adults were also distributed differently; juveniles were more abundant at the lower latitudes in inshore waters, while adults were more widespread along the entire coast. These patterns are consistent with the ecology of the American lobster. This study provides a tool to evaluate changes in lobster spatial distribution with respect to changes in key habitat and other environmental variables, and consequently could be of value for the management of the American lobster.


KEY WORDS: American lobster · Homarus americanus · Spatial distribution · Gulf of Maine · 2-stage GAM


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Cite this article as: Chang JH, Chen Y, Holland D, Grabowski J (2010) Estimating spatial distribution of American lobster Homarus americanus using habitat variables. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 420:145-156. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08849

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