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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 501:191-206 (2014)  -  DOI:

Residency and seasonal movements in Lutjanus argentiventris and Mycteroperca rosacea at Los Islotes Reserve, Gulf of California

Thomas TinHan1,*, Brad Erisman2, Octavio Aburto-Oropeza2, Amy Weaver3, Daniel Vázquez-Arce3, Christopher G. Lowe1

1Department of Biological Sciences, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, California 90815, USA
2Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0202, USA
3Sociedad de Historia Natural Niparajá A.C., 23020 La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: A detailed understanding of inter- and intraspecific movement patterns is required to understand how marine species interact with surrounding ecological communities, their susceptibility to anthropogenic disturbance (e.g. fishing pressure), or the feasibility of management strategies. Between August 2010 and September 2012, we used acoustic telemetry to continuously monitor movements of 31 Lutjanus argentiventris (yellow snapper) and 25 Mycteroperca rosacea (leopard grouper) at Los Islotes, a small no-take reserve and reported spawning site for both species in the SW Gulf of California. Though the majority of fish from both species exhibited moderate levels of site fidelity to Los Islotes (snapper: present 49 ± 30% of days since tagging, grouper: 64 ± 30%), cluster analyses revealed multiple patterns of site fidelity within species. Approximately 30% of snapper exhibited decreases in site fidelity during the spawning season, and snapper did not spawn at the reserve during the study. Grouper spawning aggregations at Los Islotes were visually observed in 2011 and 2012, though the abundance of fish and the intensity of courtship behaviors were reduced in comparison with reported aggregations elsewhere in the Gulf. Three snapper and 2 grouper made repeated movements across pelagic waters between Los Islotes and Marisla Seamount, another documented aggregation site in the SW Gulf. The demonstrated variation in movements of these species over multiple temporal and spatial scales warrants consideration of movement patterns in assessments of reserve performance, as well as the combination of traditional fisheries regulations (e.g. size limits) with marine reserves throughout the Gulf.

KEY WORDS: Reef fishes · Yellow snapper · Leopard grouper · Marine Protected Areas · MPAs · Acoustic monitoring · Fish spawning aggregations

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Cite this article as: TinHan T, Erisman B, Aburto-Oropeza O, Weaver A, Vázquez-Arce D, Lowe CG (2014) Residency and seasonal movements in Lutjanus argentiventris and Mycteroperca rosacea at Los Islotes Reserve, Gulf of California. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 501:191-206.

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