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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 606:119-132 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12779

Diel variation in home range size and precise returning ability after spawning migration of coral reef grouper Epinephelus ongus: implications for effective marine protected area design

Atsushi Nanami1,*, Hiromichi Mitamura2,3, Taku Sato1,4, Tomofumi Yamaguchi1,5, Ken Yamamoto6, Ryo Kawabe5, Kiyoshi Soyano5, Nobuaki Arai3,7, Yuuki Kawabata6

1Research Center for Subtropical Fisheries, Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Fukai-Ota 148, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0451, Japan
2Department of Social Informatics, Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
3Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0076, Japan
4Research Center for Marine Invertebrates, National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland Sea, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Momoshima, Onomichi, Hiroshima 722-0061, Japan
5Institute for East China Sea Research, Organization for Marine Science and Technology, Nagasaki University, Taira-machi 1551-7, Nagasaki 851-2213, Japan
6Graduate School of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, Nagasaki University, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan
7Field Science, Education and Research Center, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Marine protected areas (MPAs) are considered an effective tool for protecting marine organisms. The precise estimation of home range size, as well as diel differences in home ranges, are essential when considering the appropriate size of an MPA. In addition, behavioral characteristics of spawning migration should also be considered for species that form spawning aggregations. Our aim was to clarify the diel variation in home range size and the degree of precision of the returning ability of white-streaked grouper Epinephelus onus by acoustic telemetry. Seventeen individuals were studied, and nighttime home range sizes that were calculated by 50 and 95% kernel utilization distributions were 5.9-fold and 5.5-fold greater, respectively, than the daytime home ranges. The average inter-center distance between home ranges during the 2 time periods ranged from 3.0 to 67.9 m (22.5 m on average), suggesting that the day-night home range shift within the home ground varied individually. Returning ability for 10 individuals that showed clear spawning migration behavior was also analyzed, and the average inter-center distance between home ranges during the periods before and after spawning was 8.1 m. Eight out of these 10 individuals showed precise returning after the spawning migration to the patchy coral substrates that were used before the spawning migration. The present study suggests that appropriate setting position of the home ground can establish long-term protection of the species due to their precise returning ability after the spawning migration.


KEY WORDS: Marine protected area · Home range size · Returning ability · Spawning migration · White-streaked grouper


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Cite this article as: Nanami A, Mitamura H, Sato T, Yamaguchi T and others (2018) Diel variation in home range size and precise returning ability after spawning migration of coral reef grouper Epinephelus ongus: implications for effective marine protected area design. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 606:119-132. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12779

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