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Increased predation of juvenile European spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas) in a marine protected area

AuthorsDíaz, David ; Zabala, Mikel; Linares, Cristina ; Hereu, Bernat; Abelló, Pere
Palinurus elephas
Marine protected areas
Spiny lobster
Mediterranean Sea
Issue Date2005
PublisherRoyal Society of New Zealand
CitationNew Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 39(2): 447-453 (2005)
AbstractOne of the aims of Mediterranean marine protected areas (MPAs) is to increase populations of exploited species, such as the European spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas), which is considered a key species for its commercial and ecological value. Monitoring of temporal patterns in abundance of early benthic stages of P. elephas indicated that predation may be higher inside the Medes Islands MPA relative to adjacent control sites. Tethering experiments were performed to test whether predation rates actually differed within and outside the MPA. Relative mortality of recently-settled juveniles inside the MPA was much higher than in control sites in adjacent non-protected areas. Treatments with and without shelter indicated that predation on recently-settled juvenile spiny lobsters was moderated by the availability of suitable shelter. The decline or absence of fish predators in the fished area may be the reason why juvenile lobsters outside the MPA experience lower predation than within the MPA.
Description8 pages, 3 figures
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00288330.2005.9517324
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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