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Spatio-temporal movement patterns of Diplodus vulgaris (Actinopterygii, Sparidae) in a temperate marine reserve (Lampedusa, Mediterranean Sea)

August 21, 2013

The movements of a commercially important species, Diplodus vulgaris, were assessed in a marine-protected area to test whether their spatial and temporal activity patterns differ during and outside of their spawning season. Twelve adults were caught along the north-eastern coast of a small Mediterranean island, tagged with acoustic transmitters and released within or just outside the integral reserve. Fish detected, during both the seasons showed strong fidelity for the study area before and during the spawning season and their home range did not differ between seasons. Home ranges reached an asymptote between 12 and 174 days after release. Home range estimated by kernel utilization distributions ranged from 9,876 to 89,914 m2, with core areas of 946 to 7,274 m2. Temporal patterns frequently showed a dominant diel rhythm with most of detections occurring at daytime, independently of season. The variability in the movement patterns of D. vulgaris was lower between seasons (i.e., during and outside the spawning season) than at smaller temporal scale (i.e., between day and night) and was largely affected by inter-individual differences. Some conclusions arising from this and previous findings are useful to orient future studies on coastal fish movement and have direct implications for MPAs design.

La Mesa G, Consalvo I, Annunziatellis A, Canese S, in press. Spatio-temporal movement patterns of Diplodus vulgaris (Actinopterygii, Sparidae) in a temperate marine reserve (Lampedusa, Mediterranean Sea), Hydrobiologia, 2013, doi:10.1007/s10750-013-1631-5. Article.

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