Contrasting fish behavior in artificial seascapes with implications for resources conservation

Koeck, B. , Caro, A., Alós, J., Neveu, R., Crec'hriou, R., Saragoni, G. and Lenfant, P. (2013) Contrasting fish behavior in artificial seascapes with implications for resources conservation. PLoS ONE, 8(7), e69303. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069303) (PMID:23935978) (PMCID:PMC3728332)

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Artificial reefs are used by many fisheries managers as a tool to mitigate the impact of fisheries on coastal fish communities by providing new habitat for many exploited fish species. However, the comparison between the behavior of wild fish inhabiting either natural or artificial habitats has received less attention. Thus the spatio-temporal patterns of fish that establish their home range in one habitat or the other and their consequences of intra-population differentiation on life-history remain largely unexplored. We hypothesize that individuals with a preferred habitat (i.e. natural vs. artificial) can behave differently in terms of habitat use, with important consequences on population dynamics (e.g. life-history, mortality, and reproductive success). Therefore, using biotelemetry, 98 white seabream (Diplodus sargus) inhabiting either artificial or natural habitats were tagged and their behavior was monitored for up to eight months. Most white seabreams were highly resident either on natural or artificial reefs, with a preference for the shallow artificial reef subsets. Connectivity between artificial and natural reefs was limited for resident individuals due to great inter-habitat distances. The temporal behavioral patterns of white seabreams differed between artificial and natural reefs. Artificial-reef resident fish had a predominantly nocturnal diel pattern, whereas natural-reef resident fish showed a diurnal diel pattern. Differences in diel behavioral patterns of white seabream inhabiting artificial and natural reefs could be the expression of realized individual specialization resulting from differences in habitat configuration and resource availability between these two habitats. Artificial reefs have the potential to modify not only seascape connectivity but also the individual behavioral patterns of fishes. Future management plans of coastal areas and fisheries resources, including artificial reef implementation, should therefore consider the potential effect of habitat modification on fish behavior, which could have key implications on fish dynamics.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Koeck, Dr Barbara
Authors: Koeck, B., Caro, A., Alós, J., Neveu, R., Crec'hriou, R., Saragoni, G., and Lenfant, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 8(7):e69303
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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