Pueruli settlement in the Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus, at Bimini, Bahamas

A. S. Afonso, S. H. Gruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Settlement of the Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus on artificial substrates was studied from September 2003 to April 2004 at Bimini, Bahamas. The small scale, shallowness, and distinctive current regime of Bimini make it a more readily interpretable recruitment system regarding species with complex life cycles. Spatiotemporal patterns of pueruli settlement on "Witham-type" collectors were examined monthly by sampling over three specific days scheduled around each new moon. Peak abundances of pueruli were found in September, November, and February, but with considerable spatial heterogeneity. The western portion of Bimini Lagoon, open to the ocean, revealed higher abundances of lobster larvae, while absence of pueruli at the broad eastern entrance, open to the shallow Great Bahama Bank, suggested little contribution to settlement in the Bimini nursery. This region apparently is primarily dependent on postlarvae supplied by the Gulf Stream. Pueruli settlement varied significantly over the three sampling days, occurring mostly 3 d before new moon, which differed from peak settlement times in other regional studies. Significantly smaller total lengths of postpueruli in the innermost section of the lagoon (i.e., the North Sound) suggest poorer environmental conditions at this site, probably reflecting poor food and shelter availability. Nevertheless, higher abundances of older juveniles in the North Sound demonstrated that this area has an ecologically important habitat for recruitment of spiny lobster to subsequent ontogenetic stages. The importance of recruitment processes for the successful management of this commercially exploited species is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1355-1371
Number of pages17
JournalCrustaceana
Volume80
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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