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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 534:149-161 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11380

Duration of migration and reproduction in males is dependent on energy reserve in a fish forming spawning aggregations

Yuuki Kawabata1,*, Atsushi Nanami2, Ken Yamamoto1, Taku Sato2, Koichi Kuwahara3, Megumi Koga3, Kazuhiro Kawaguchi3, Tomofumi Yamaguchi1,2, Itaru Ohta4, Ryo Kawabe1, Gregory N. Nishihara1, Mitsuharu Yagi5, Kiyoshi Soyano1

1Institute for East China Sea Research, Nagasaki University, Taira-machi, Nagasaki 851-2213, Japan
2Research Center for Sub-tropical Fisheries, Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, Fukai-Ota, Ishigaki 907-0451, Japan
3Nagasaki Prefectural Institute of Fisheries, Taira-machi, Nagasaki 851-2213, Japan
4Okinawa Prefectural Fisheries Research and Extension Center, Kyan, Itoman, Okinawa 901-0354, Japan
5Faculty of Fisheries, Nagasaki University, Bunkyo, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Clarifying the relationship between individual energetic state and reproductive behaviour is essential for understanding the life history strategies of fish as well as for determining fisheries management measures. Many papers have recently been published on fish spawning aggregations (FSAs), in which numerous fish migrate to specific sites for spawning, yet little is known about the relationship between individual energetic state and reproductive behaviour. We tested whether the individual energetic state affected the reproductive behaviour in male white-streaked grouper Epinephelus ongus, a species that forms FSAs. Body composition measurement of market specimens suggests that male E. ongus feed less and mainly use their lipid reserves for metabolism and testis development during the spawning season. An integrative analysis of body composition and acoustic telemetry data showed that there is a positive relationship between pre-migration lipid density and the duration away from the resident area for migration and reproduction (duration away). These results indicate that fatter males with higher lipid density spent longer periods outside of the resident area, which may enhance the susceptibility of these individuals to intensive fishing pressure at the FSA site. Furthermore, the lipid expenditure during the duration away estimated in this study corresponded well with the energy expenditure for metabolism and testis development estimated through the metabolic theory of ecology, suggesting that we could accurately estimate the energy requirement for reproductive behaviours. This study highlights the importance of linking energy reserves to reproductive behaviours in other fishes forming spawning aggregations.

KEY WORDS: Epinepheline serranid · Grouper · Metabolic theory · Selective fishing · Spawning aggregation · Spawning migration · Telemetry

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Cite this article as: Kawabata Y, Nanami A, Yamamoto K, Sato T and others (2015) Duration of migration and reproduction in males is dependent on energy reserve in a fish forming spawning aggregations. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 534:149-161. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11380

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