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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 450:115-129 (2012)  -  DOI:

Competition between wild and captive-bred Penaeus plebejus and implications for stock enhancement

Faith Ochwada-Doyle1,2,*, Charles A. Gray1,2, Neil R. Loneragan3, Iain M. Suthers1,4, Matthew D. Taylor1,2,4

1Evolution & Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, University of New South Wales, New South Wales 2052, Australia
2Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre, NSW Industry and Investment, PO Box 21, Cronulla, New South Wales 2230, Australia
3Centre for Fish, Fisheries & Aquatic Ecosystem Research, School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Murdoch University, South St, Murdoch, Western Australia 6150, Australia
4Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Building 22, Chowder Bay Road, Mosman, New South Wales 2088, Australia

ABSTRACT: The mechanisms that drive density dependence are rarely studied in the applied context of population management. We examined the potential for competition for food and shelter and the resulting demographic density dependence to influence how well populations of the eastern king prawn Penaeus plebejus Hess can recover following marine stock enhancement programmes in which captive-bred juveniles are released into the wild. Specifically, manipulative laboratory experiments were used to quantify the differential effects of competition for food and competition for shelter on survival of wild and captive-bred P. plebejus as densities were increased and as each category of P. plebejus (wild or captive-bred) was supplemented with the alternate category. Increasing population densities when food and shelter were limited lowered survival for both categories. When food was limited, survival of both categories was unaffected by addition of the alternative category. Adding wild P. plebejus to their captive-bred counterparts when shelter was limited under laboratory conditions resulted in significantly higher mortality in captive-bred individuals. In contrast, adding captive-bred P. plebejus to wild individuals under these conditions did not affect wild P. plebejus. We conclude that if the current results can be extended to wild conditions, competition for shelter may lead to the loss of captive-bred P. plebejus, thereby reducing the intended outcomes of stock enhancement. This highlights the importance of investigating interactions between wild and captive-bred animals prior to stock enhancement to predict long-term outcomes and identify situations where stock enhancement could be an effective response to the loss of populations or recruitment limitation.

KEY WORDS: Re-stocking · Sea ranching · Penaeid · Shrimp · Complexity · Eastern Australia · Lotka-Volterra model · Penaeus (Melicertus)

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Cite this article as: Ochwada-Doyle F, Gray CA, Loneragan NR, Suthers IM, Taylor MD (2012) Competition between wild and captive-bred Penaeus plebejus and implications for stock enhancement. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 450:115-129.

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