Grouper and snapper movements and habitat use in Dry Tortugas, Florida

Nicholas A. Farmer, Jerald S Ault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Home ranges, activity patterns, and habitat preferences in and around no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) were evaluated for 5 exploited snapper-grouper species in diverse coral reef habitats in the Dry Tortugas, Florida. Movements of ultrasonic tagged reef fish were determined using a calibrated array of omnidirectional hydroacoustic receivers. Average home range sizes were 2.09 ± 0.39 km 2 (n = 28; total length, TL = 45 to 66 cm) for red grouper Epinephelus morio, 4.17 ± 1.75 km 2 (n = 5, TL = 48 to 55 cm) for yellowtail snapper Ocyurus chrysurus, 1.44 ± 1.04 km 2 (n = 2, TL = 57 to 75 cm) for black grouper Mycteroperca bonaci, and 7.64 km 2 (n = 1, TL = 70 cm) for mutton snapper Lutjanus analis. Red grouper and yellowtail snapper moved moderate distances (from 700 to 900 m) with moderate frequency. Observed movements for black groupers were relatively small and infrequent. Mutton snappers appeared to make short, frequent movements. A tracked gray snapper L. griseus made long-distance nocturnal migrations. Several exploited-phase groupers and snappers crossed into and out of reserve boundaries. They were most likely to do so in locations where boundaries were positioned over contiguous coral reef and close to home-range centers. We found that home ranges for red grouper, black grouper, and yellowtail snapper were relatively small in comparison to NTMR area. Our observations suggest that the Dry Tortugas NTMRs may reduce exposure to exploitation for these and other species with limited home ranges, especially where NTMR boundaries do not overlie contiguous reef.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-184
Number of pages16
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume433
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 18 2011

Fingerprint

Mycteroperca bonaci
Ocyurus chrysurus
Epinephelus morio
snapper
grouper
home range
Lutjanus analis
habitat use
marine park
habitats
coral reefs
coral reef
reefs
reef
activity pattern
habitat preferences
habitat selection
range size
ultrasonics
habitat

Keywords

  • Acoustic tracking
  • Coral reef fishes
  • Home range
  • Marine reserves
  • Movement patterns
  • Snapper-grouper complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Grouper and snapper movements and habitat use in Dry Tortugas, Florida. / Farmer, Nicholas A.; Ault, Jerald S.

In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 433, 18.07.2011, p. 169-184.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e7fae7fb99bb4daabcf3d57df8bbdf73,
title = "Grouper and snapper movements and habitat use in Dry Tortugas, Florida",
abstract = "Home ranges, activity patterns, and habitat preferences in and around no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) were evaluated for 5 exploited snapper-grouper species in diverse coral reef habitats in the Dry Tortugas, Florida. Movements of ultrasonic tagged reef fish were determined using a calibrated array of omnidirectional hydroacoustic receivers. Average home range sizes were 2.09 ± 0.39 km 2 (n = 28; total length, TL = 45 to 66 cm) for red grouper Epinephelus morio, 4.17 ± 1.75 km 2 (n = 5, TL = 48 to 55 cm) for yellowtail snapper Ocyurus chrysurus, 1.44 ± 1.04 km 2 (n = 2, TL = 57 to 75 cm) for black grouper Mycteroperca bonaci, and 7.64 km 2 (n = 1, TL = 70 cm) for mutton snapper Lutjanus analis. Red grouper and yellowtail snapper moved moderate distances (from 700 to 900 m) with moderate frequency. Observed movements for black groupers were relatively small and infrequent. Mutton snappers appeared to make short, frequent movements. A tracked gray snapper L. griseus made long-distance nocturnal migrations. Several exploited-phase groupers and snappers crossed into and out of reserve boundaries. They were most likely to do so in locations where boundaries were positioned over contiguous coral reef and close to home-range centers. We found that home ranges for red grouper, black grouper, and yellowtail snapper were relatively small in comparison to NTMR area. Our observations suggest that the Dry Tortugas NTMRs may reduce exposure to exploitation for these and other species with limited home ranges, especially where NTMR boundaries do not overlie contiguous reef.",
keywords = "Acoustic tracking, Coral reef fishes, Home range, Marine reserves, Movement patterns, Snapper-grouper complex",
author = "Farmer, {Nicholas A.} and Ault, {Jerald S}",
year = "2011",
month = "7",
day = "18",
doi = "10.3354/meps09198",
language = "English",
volume = "433",
pages = "169--184",
journal = "Marine Ecology - Progress Series",
issn = "0171-8630",
publisher = "Inter-Research",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Grouper and snapper movements and habitat use in Dry Tortugas, Florida

AU - Farmer, Nicholas A.

AU - Ault, Jerald S

PY - 2011/7/18

Y1 - 2011/7/18

N2 - Home ranges, activity patterns, and habitat preferences in and around no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) were evaluated for 5 exploited snapper-grouper species in diverse coral reef habitats in the Dry Tortugas, Florida. Movements of ultrasonic tagged reef fish were determined using a calibrated array of omnidirectional hydroacoustic receivers. Average home range sizes were 2.09 ± 0.39 km 2 (n = 28; total length, TL = 45 to 66 cm) for red grouper Epinephelus morio, 4.17 ± 1.75 km 2 (n = 5, TL = 48 to 55 cm) for yellowtail snapper Ocyurus chrysurus, 1.44 ± 1.04 km 2 (n = 2, TL = 57 to 75 cm) for black grouper Mycteroperca bonaci, and 7.64 km 2 (n = 1, TL = 70 cm) for mutton snapper Lutjanus analis. Red grouper and yellowtail snapper moved moderate distances (from 700 to 900 m) with moderate frequency. Observed movements for black groupers were relatively small and infrequent. Mutton snappers appeared to make short, frequent movements. A tracked gray snapper L. griseus made long-distance nocturnal migrations. Several exploited-phase groupers and snappers crossed into and out of reserve boundaries. They were most likely to do so in locations where boundaries were positioned over contiguous coral reef and close to home-range centers. We found that home ranges for red grouper, black grouper, and yellowtail snapper were relatively small in comparison to NTMR area. Our observations suggest that the Dry Tortugas NTMRs may reduce exposure to exploitation for these and other species with limited home ranges, especially where NTMR boundaries do not overlie contiguous reef.

AB - Home ranges, activity patterns, and habitat preferences in and around no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) were evaluated for 5 exploited snapper-grouper species in diverse coral reef habitats in the Dry Tortugas, Florida. Movements of ultrasonic tagged reef fish were determined using a calibrated array of omnidirectional hydroacoustic receivers. Average home range sizes were 2.09 ± 0.39 km 2 (n = 28; total length, TL = 45 to 66 cm) for red grouper Epinephelus morio, 4.17 ± 1.75 km 2 (n = 5, TL = 48 to 55 cm) for yellowtail snapper Ocyurus chrysurus, 1.44 ± 1.04 km 2 (n = 2, TL = 57 to 75 cm) for black grouper Mycteroperca bonaci, and 7.64 km 2 (n = 1, TL = 70 cm) for mutton snapper Lutjanus analis. Red grouper and yellowtail snapper moved moderate distances (from 700 to 900 m) with moderate frequency. Observed movements for black groupers were relatively small and infrequent. Mutton snappers appeared to make short, frequent movements. A tracked gray snapper L. griseus made long-distance nocturnal migrations. Several exploited-phase groupers and snappers crossed into and out of reserve boundaries. They were most likely to do so in locations where boundaries were positioned over contiguous coral reef and close to home-range centers. We found that home ranges for red grouper, black grouper, and yellowtail snapper were relatively small in comparison to NTMR area. Our observations suggest that the Dry Tortugas NTMRs may reduce exposure to exploitation for these and other species with limited home ranges, especially where NTMR boundaries do not overlie contiguous reef.

KW - Acoustic tracking

KW - Coral reef fishes

KW - Home range

KW - Marine reserves

KW - Movement patterns

KW - Snapper-grouper complex

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79960538829&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79960538829&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3354/meps09198

DO - 10.3354/meps09198

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:79960538829

VL - 433

SP - 169

EP - 184

JO - Marine Ecology - Progress Series

JF - Marine Ecology - Progress Series

SN - 0171-8630

ER -