Geographic variation in the sex ratio, sex specific size, and age structure of Plectropomus leopardus (Serranidae) between reefs open and closed to fishing on the Great Barrier Reef

Adams, S., Mapstone, B.D., Russ, G.R., and Davies, C.R. (2000) Geographic variation in the sex ratio, sex specific size, and age structure of Plectropomus leopardus (Serranidae) between reefs open and closed to fishing on the Great Barrier Reef. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 57 (7). pp. 1448-1458.

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Abstract

Variation in reproductive parameters of Plectropomus leopardus populations between coral reefs open and closed to fishing was examined in two geographic regions (off Townsville (19°S) and in the Swains (22°S)) of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The reproductive parameters that were examined included the operational (reproductive) sex ratio and size and age structure of mature females, sex-changing individuals (transitionals), and mature males. There was a greater proportion of males above the minimum size and age of harvest on reefs closed to fishing for 8-10 years than on reefs open to fishing, although the effect varied with geographic region. Nevertheless, neither the sex ratio, mean age, nor mean size of males or transitionals varied significantly with reef closure status. Females, however, were significantly older and larger on closed than on open reefs in both regions. Marked regional variations in the sex ratio and average age of transitionals were found independent of reef closure status, suggesting regional variation in reproductive strategies. Controlled manipulations, inclusion of broad spatial scales, and detailed studies of intra- and inter-specific variation in serranid reproductive biology are necessary to resolve such complexities in the responses of protogynous serranids to fishing pressure and management strategies.

Item ID: 12809
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: coral reefs; epinepheline serranids; fishery management; geographic variation; protogynous populations
ISSN: 1205-7533
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2012 01:54
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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