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Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 121–133 | Cite as

Abundance and biomass of the parrotfish Sparisoma cretense in seagrass meadows: temporal and spatial differences between seagrass interiors and seagrass adjacent to reefs

  • Fernando Espino
  • José A. González
  • Ricardo Haroun
  • Fernando Tuya
Article

Abstract

Seagrass habitats are relevant for numerous nearshore fish species, particularly as nursery grounds. Seagrass meadows are often interspersed with other habitats, what can alter the distribution and abundance of seagrass ichthyofauna. This research aimed to determine whether there is a change in the abundance and biomass of the parrotfish, Sparisoma cretense, in seagrass meadows (Cymodocea nodosa) with varying proximity from rocky reefs, specifically seagrass interiors (>200 m away from reefs) vs. seagrass adjacent to reefs (<10 m away). Sampling was undertaken using a seine net and underwater visual census through an entire annual cycle. Adults were predominantly observed in seagrass adjacent to reefs, which seem to be restricted to incursions of large-sized parrotfish from adjacent reefs. Juvenile abundance did not significantly differ between seagrass interiors and seagrass adjacent to reefs; however, juvenile biomass was greater in seagrass meadows adjacent to reefs compared to those far away from reefs. This pattern was consistent through times for both sampling techniques. These results suggest a transition of juvenile parrotfish from seagrass interiors to seagrass near reefs, so juveniles are located in the vicinity of their adult habitat, i.e. rocky reefs.

Keywords

Reefs Ecotones Underwater visual counts Seine nets Canary Islands 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Financial support was received from the Government of the Canary Islands and the EU ERDF within the framework of the PCT MAC 2007–2013 programme, project GESMAR, in close liaison with the insular administration of Cabildo de Gran Canaria. F. Tuya was supported by the MINECO ‛Ramón y Cajal programme. We would like to thank L. Ortega, A. Ulibarri, H. Hernández-Zerpa and T. Sánchez for assisting during collection of field data. This research was conducted under the current environmental and fishery regulations of the Canary Islands.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Espino
    • 1
  • José A. González
    • 2
  • Ricardo Haroun
    • 1
  • Fernando Tuya
    • 1
  1. 1.BIOGES, Faculty of Marine SciencesUniversidad de Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas PalmasSpain
  2. 2.Grupo de Investigación en Ecología Marina Aplicada y Pesquerías, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria/Instituto Canario de Ciencias MarinasLas PalmasSpain

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