MEPS 457:241-250 (2012)  -  doi:10.3354/meps09669

Biologging to examine multiple life stages of an estuarine-dependent fish

Andrew B. Barbour1,*, Aaron J. Adams2

1School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 7922 NW 71st St, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32653, USA
2Mote Marine Laboratory, Charlotte Harbor Field Station, PO Box 2197, Pineland, Florida 33945, USA

ABSTRACT: To better understand habitat use through ontogeny, this paper synthesizes 7 yr of biologging research on the adult and juvenile life stages of an estuarine-dependent fish, the common snook Centropomus undecimalis in Charlotte Harbor, Florida, USA. During 3 yr of telemetry research in a putative nursery habitat (mangrove creeks), we resighted 85.4% of 1924 juvenile snook marked after, and 13.5% of 2191 juveniles marked prior to, deployment of a telemetry array. During 4 yr of research in spawning habitat (barrier island beaches), we used seine nets and recaptured 5.63% of 3304 marked adult snook. After analyzing these concurrent data sets, we found significant intra- and interannual site fidelity patterns in both life stages, while documenting movement between juvenile and adult spawning habitats. Additionally, this tag-based approach allowed an investigation of the relative effects of a severe cold event, which reduced apparent survival by 22.6 to 38.3% for juveniles and 97.8 to 98.5% for adults. This work presents data within and between life stages that are critical to understanding processes affecting ontogenetic habitat use and connectivity and underscores the importance of incorporating within-stage fidelity and emigration in studies on ontogeny.

KEY WORDS: Centropomus undecimalis · Nursery habitat · Spawning habitat · Connectivity · Site fidelity · Emigration · Survival estimation · Disturbance · Metapopulation · Passive integrated transponder · PIT

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Cite this article as: Barbour AB, Adams AJ (2012) Biologging to examine multiple life stages of an estuarine-dependent fish. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 457:241-250

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