Drivers of protogynous sex change differ across spatial scales

Taylor, Brett M. (2014) Drivers of protogynous sex change differ across spatial scales. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 281 (1775). 20132423. pp. 1-8.

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Abstract

The influence of social demography on sex change schedules in protogynous reef fishes is well established, yet effects across spatial scales (in particular, the magnitude of natural variation relative to size-selective fishing effects) are poorly understood. Here, I examine variation in timing of sex change for exploited parrotfishes across a range of environmental, anthropogenic and geographical factors. Results were highly dependent on spatial scale. Fishing pressure was the most influential factor determining length at sex change at the within-island scale where a wide range of anthropogenic pressure existed. Sex transition occurred at smaller sizes where fishing pressure was high. Among islands, however, differences were overwhelmingly predicted by reefal-scale structural features, a pattern evident for all species examined. For the most abundant species, Chlorurus spilurus, length at sex change increased at higher overall densities and greater female-to-male sex ratios at all islands except where targeted by fishermen; here the trend was reversed. This implies differing selective pressures on adult individuals can significantly alter sex change dynamics, highlighting the importance of social structure, demography and the selective forces structuring populations. Considerable life-history responses to exploitation were observed, but results suggest potential fishing effects on demography may be obscured by natural variation at biogeographic scales.

Item ID: 30509
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: protogyny, sex change, fishing effects, parrotfish, spatial scale
Funders: NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2013 07:08
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060308 Life Histories @ 34%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 33%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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