(1 - 2 of 2)
- Thermal stratification drives movement of a coastal apex predator
- A characterization of the thermal ecology of fishes is needed to better understand changes in ecosystems and species distributions arising from global warming. The movement of wild animals during changing environmental conditions provides essential information to help predict the future thermal response of large marine predators. We used acoustic telemetry to monitor the vertical movement activity of the common dentex (Dentex dentex), a Mediterranean coastal predator, in relation to the oscillations of the seasonal thermocline during two summer periods in the Medes Islands marine reserve (NW Mediterranean Sea). During the summer stratification period, the common dentex presented a clear preference for the warm suprathermoclinal layer, and adjusted their vertical movements following the depth changes of the thermocline. The same preference was also observed during the night, when fish were less active. Due to this behaviour, we hypothesize that inter-annual thermal oscillations and the predicted lengthening of summer conditions will have a significant positive impact on the metabolic efficiency, activity levels, and population dynamics of this species, particularly in its northern limit of distribution. These changes in the dynamics of an ecosystem's keystone predator might cascade down to lower trophic levels, potentially re-defining the coastal fish communities of the future. © 2017 The Author(s).
- Aspillaga, Bartumeus, Starr, López-Sanz, Linares, DIáz, Garrabou, Zabala, Hereu
- Ordinary and Extraordinary Movement Behaviour of Small Resident Fish within a Mediterranean Marine Protected Area
- It is important to account for the movement behaviour of fishes when designing effective marine protected areas (MPAs). Fish movements occur across different spatial and temporal scales and understanding the variety of movements is essential to make correct management decisions. This study describes in detail the movement patterns of an economically and commercially important species, Diplodus sargus, within a well-enforced Mediterranean MPA. We monitored horizontal and vertical movements of 41 adult individuals using passive acoustic telemetry for up to one year. We applied novel analysis and visualization techniques to get a comprehensive view of a wide range of movements. D. sargus individuals were highly territorial, moving within small home ranges (< 1 km2), inside which they displayed repetitive diel activity patterns. Extraordinary movements beyond the ordinary home range were observed under two specific conditions. First, during stormy events D. sargus presented a sheltering behaviour, moving to more protected places to avoid the disturbance. Second, during the spawning season they made excursions to deep areas (> 50 m), where they aggregated to spawn. This study advances our understanding about the functioning of an established MPA and provides important insights into the biology and management of a small sedentary species, suggesting the relevance of rare but important fish behaviours.
- Aspillaga, Bartumeus, Linares, Starr, López-Sanz, Díaz, Zabala, Hereu