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Closed Access item The influence of environmental characteristics on fish larvae spatial patterns related to a marine protected area: The Medes islands (NW Mediterranean)

Authors:López-Sanz, Àngel
Stelzenmüller, Vanessa
Maynou, Francesc
Sabatés, Ana
Keywords:GAM, temporal variations, fish larvae, environmental conditions, marine parks, geographical distributions, NW Mediterranean
Issue Date:20-May-2011
Citation:Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 92(4): 521-533 (2011)
Abstract:We assessed the linkages between environmental variables and the spatio-temporal distribution patterns of larval abundance of coastal fish assemblages within and outside the Medes Islands marine protected area (MPA; NW Mediterranean) to explore possible fisheries effects such as larvae export of the latter. We analyzed small-scale fish larvae distribution of 28 representative taxa from the rocky fish assemblage and combined the former in different groups with the help of cluster analysis. Further we assessed the influence of selected abiotic variables on group and species distributions using Generalized Additive Models (GAM’s). We found a high level of variability in the response of larvae groups and species to environmental variables over the two studied periods (spring and summer); depth and habitat of the adults being the most important factors. In addition, distance to the MPA was found as an important variable in defining the location of larvae of strictly coastal species. Our results provided evidence of larval export of three commercial species affected by the MPA (Epinephelus marginatus, Pagellus erythrinus and Scorpaena porcus). Thus our study contributes to the few empirical assessments of larvae export from MPAs and adds to the understanding of the functioning of MPAs as fisheries management tools. Nevertheless, in the future integrated assessments of fisheries effects of MPAs are required that measure the effect of larvae and biomass export on increased fishing yield while taking into account fishing effort dynamics.
Description:13 pages, 8 figures, 3 tables
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2011.02.006
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos

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