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Male competition propels biomass recovery in a new marine protected area

Other TitlesLa competencia entre machos impulsa la recuperación de la biomasa en una nueva área marina protegida
AuthorsGoñi, Raquel; Mallol, Sandra; Díaz, David ; Parma, A.
KeywordsMarine protected area
Biomass recovery
Columbretes Islands
Issue Date3-Sep-2014
PublisherInstituto Español de Oceanografía
CitationXVIII Simposio Ibérico de Estudios de Biología Marina. Libro de resúmenes: 94 (2014)
AbstractThe Columbretes Islands marine reserve (CIRM) has been closed to fishing since 1990. Based on a long term study of this marine protected area (MPA) started in 1997, we have documented the progressive recovery of biomass and demography of the European spiny lobster Palinuruselephas(Fabricius, 1787), akey species in that benthic ecosystem. In 2009 the CIMR (oldMPA) was expanded to encompass vulnerable benthic communities subject to intense fishing in what until then were the grounds adjacent to the boundary (newMPA). The creation of the newMPA is a unique man – made experiment, where a newly created MPA is sandwiched between a 20-year old MPA and a fully exploited area. This particular circumstance offered an opportunity to shed light on biomass recovery processes in MPAs, and the long term monitoring on P. elephas allows using this species as model to investigate this process in the CIRM. Taking into account this scenario, our initial hypothesis is that, in addition to density independent movements, density dependent intra-specific competition mediates emigration from the old to the newMPA. Under this premise, the fraction of lobsters migrating from the old to the newMPA should have a different make up, sex or size, than that of the source population. Data collected in years -1 to +4 of the newMPA creation indicate a swift recovery of lobster density in that area, with a predominance of males compared to the oldMPA. While the largest females were confined to the shallow areas in the interior of the oldMPA, the largest males could be found at any depth, suggesting stiffer competition for mates or resources among males. During the first stages, colonization of the adjacent, previously fished grounds in the newMPA was taken care of by small and medium size lobsters, primarily males. This study intends to contribute to the science of MPAs by improving our understanding of processes involved in biomass rebuilding, ensuing density-dependent movements and replenishment of fished areas
DescriptionXVIII Simposio Ibérico de Estudios de Biología Marina (SIEBM), 2-5 september 2014, Gijón.-- XVIII Simposio Ibérico de Estudos de Biologia Marinha (SIEBM).-- 1 page
Publisher version (URL)http://www.siebm.es/
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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