Movement of bonnetheads, Sphyrna tiburo, as a response to salinity change in a Florida estuary

Ubeda, Armando J., Simpfendorfer, C.A., and Heupel, M.R. (2009) Movement of bonnetheads, Sphyrna tiburo, as a response to salinity change in a Florida estuary. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 84 (3). pp. 292-303.

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Abstract

The movement of bonnetheads, Sphyrna tiburo, within an estuarine system on the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida was examined to define response to salinity change. Shark presence and movements were evaluated by acoustic monitoring and gillnet sampling. Acoustic monitoring data were used to investigate active selection of different zones within the estuary based on differences in salinity among zones. Sharks were monitored for 187 days in 2003 and 217 days in 2004 in salinities ranging from 11.0 to 31.0 ppt in 2003 and 15.8 to 34.6 ppt in 2004. Monitoring data supported the hypothesis that salinity played a role in the distribution and movement of S. tiburo. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) data obtained from gillnet sampling from 1995 to 2004 were examined to determine affinity or avoidance of specific salinities within the study site as calculated using an electivity index. Electivity analysis showed almost no affinity or avoidance for specific salinity values. The difference in results between the CPUE and acoustic monitoring in relation to the potential effects of salinity likely relate to the nature of the data, with acoustic monitoring providing continuous data and CPUE providing snapshot location data. The results of this study suggest that although S. tiburo are collected within a wide range of salinity levels, salinity may affect movement and distribution. Salinity effects may be more pronounced during periods of prolonged and/or large changes in salinity as detected by long-term monitoring.

Item ID: 8110
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: abiotic factors; acoustic telemetry; electivity; shark
ISSN: 1573-5133
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2010 22:12
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 80%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960502 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments @ 100%
Citation Count from Scopus Scopus 16
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