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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 371:213-220 (2008)  -  DOI:

Disturbance-induced ‘spill-in’ of Caribbean spiny lobster to marine reserves

David B. Eggleston1,2,*, Darren M. Parsons1,3

1North Carolina State University, Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8208, USA
2North Carolina State University, Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, 303 College Circle, Morehead City, North Carolina 28557, USA
3National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Private Bag 99940, Auckland, New Zealand

ABSTRACT: Marine reserves have the potential to enhance fisheries productivity by increasing total spawning potential or by spillover, the migration of juveniles and adults from reserves to non-reserve areas. Spillover has been the focus of many studies and has been an important argument in promoting the benefits of marine reserves to gain public support. Few studies, however, have examined mechanisms for colonization or migrations into marine reserves. The present study provides direct field evidence that disturbance from a sport diving fishery can elevate the abundance of Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus in nearby marine reserves—particularly in reserves containing relatively high densities of non-disturbed lobsters—presumably through conspecific attraction where lobsters follow chemical cues to undisturbed sites in marine reserves. Population redistribution following fishery disturbance has implications for marine reserve design and application. For example, risk-averse fishery management strategies might locate reserves adjacent to intensely fished areas to enhance spill-in of mobile species.

KEY WORDS: Animal behavior · Caribbean spiny lobster · Disturbance · Fisheries management · Sociality · Marine protected areas · Marine reserves · Predation · Spill-in · Spillover · Sport divers

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Cite this article as: Eggleston DB, Parsons aDM (2008) Disturbance-induced ‘spill-in’ of Caribbean spiny lobster to marine reserves. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 371:213-220.

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