Inter-Research > MEPS > v707 > p99-113  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp

MEPS 707:99-113 (2023)  -  DOI:

Spawning-related fish movement synchrony of white seabream Diplodus sargus in a no-take zone

Marie Pedaccini1,*, Inês Sousa1, Luís Bentes1, Carmela DeBenito-Abelló1,2, Pedro G. Lino3, Even Moland4,5, Jorge M. S. Gonçalves1, Bárbara Horta e Costa1

1Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2Department of Life Science, Tunghai University, Xitun District, Taichung 40704, Taiwan
3Portuguese Institute for the Ocean and Atmosphere (IPMA), IP, 8700-305 Olhão, Portugal
4Institute of Marine Research (IMR), PO Box 1870 Nordnes, 5817 Bergen, Norway
5Centre for Coastal Research (CCR), Department of Natural Sciences, University of Agder, PO Box 422, 4604 Kristiansand, Norway
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Studies assessing fish spatial behaviour are essential to better understand the performance of marine protected areas. However, few studies have focused on the fine-scale movements related to reproduction, a key feature in a population’s perpetuation. Knowledge of movements modulated by reproduction is particularly important since migrations towards spawning grounds may increase the vulnerability to threats if these occur outside protected areas. Further, reproductive behavioural polymorphism is widely understudied but may affect reproductive success. In this work, we used acoustic telemetry to study a harvested fish, Diplodus sargus, within a small no-take zone in Portugal. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to focus on both the environmental and spatial features affecting D. sargus reproduction and the first to explore intraspecific variability of spawning movements. We report, during the spawning period, short-term (<1 d) and synchronised wider movements towards the open sea and deeper areas—‘extraordinary movements’—involving 34% of the individuals. These extraordinary movements were associated with environmental factors known to trigger reproduction in this species (low but increasing photoperiod and temperature, waxing and full moon phases). Our results suggest that different behavioural groups (residents, commuters and low site-attached fish) exhibiting differences in spatial use may aggregate and spawn simultaneously, which may contribute to the maintenance of behavioural polymorphisms and the species’ evolutionary adaptability. These findings have implications for the conservation of D. sargus and are relevant to other species that also conduct such critical migrations. Our results should enable adaptive management of fisheries targeting this species.

KEY WORDS: Marine protected area · White seabream · Acoustic telemetry · Reproductive behaviour · Extraordinary movements · Intraspecific variation

Full text in pdf format
Supplementary material
Cite this article as: Pedaccini M, Sousa I, Bentes L, DeBenito-Abelló C and others (2023) Spawning-related fish movement synchrony of white seabream Diplodus sargus in a no-take zone. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 707:99-113.

Export citation
Share:    Facebook - - linkedIn

 Previous article Next article