Title

Effects of a marine reserve on recruitment of grunts (Pisces : Haemulidae) at Barbados, West Indies

Authors

M Tupper
F Juanes

Publication Date

1999

Journal or Book Title

ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY OF FISHES

Abstract

The effects of a non-extractive marine reserve on the recruitment dynamics of haemulid fishes and their predators on Barbados coral reefs were studied using visual census and mark-recapture methods. Size and abundance of piscivores (including large adult grunts) known to prey on grunts were greater within the reserve than on adjacent reefs, whereas size and abundance of older juvenile grunts did not differ between protected and exploited reefs. Recruitment and early juvenile abundance were lower within the reserve and were inversely related to predator density (including adult conspecifics). Patterns in density of new recruits may also have been influenced by oceanographic patterns of supply of larvae. Thus, although protection has a significant positive effect on the size and abundance of large carnivorous fishes, higher predation pressure within a reserve may serve to reduce juvenile recruitment within the reserve. At some size/age, cumulative recruitment due to lower size-specific predation mortality results in higher density within the reserve. This increased density is maintained by the absence of fishing mortality within the reserve. Despite maintaining high spawning biomass of several large, commercially exploited species that may export larvae to downstream areas, the Barbados Marine Reserve appears to be a local sink for juvenile grunts.

DOI

10.1023/A:1007516831826

Volume

55

Issue

1-2

Pages

53-63

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