Landscape Ecology

, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 1937–1948 | Cite as

Thresholds in seascape connectivity: influence of mobility, habitat distribution, and current strength on fish movement

Research Article

Abstract

Assessing connectivity of the marine environment is a fundamental challenge for marine conservation and planning, yet conceptual development in habitat connectivity has been based on terrestrial examples rather than marine ecosystems. Here, we explore differences in marine environments that could affect localized movement of marine organisms and demonstrate the importance of incorporating them into seascape models. We link a fish-based cost surface model to simulated seascapes to test hypotheses about the effects of fish mobility, water current strength, and their interactions on functional connectivity of a seascape. Our models predict that sedentary fish should be more sensitive to habitat change than more mobile fish. Furthermore, highly mobile fish should be more sensitive to water currents than habitat change. In our models, the cost of swimming against a current (of any strength) exceeded its benefits, resulting in overall decreases in connectivity with increasing current strengths. We further hypothesized that thresholds in functional connectivity will be affected by both fish mobility and water current strength. Connectivity thresholds in the models occurred when 10–50 % of benthic habitat was favourable; below these thresholds there was a rapid increase in path cost. Thresholds were influenced by the interaction of relative habitat costs (simulated fish mobility) and habitat fragmentation: thresholds for less mobile fish (higher relative cost) were reached at lower habitat abundance when habitat was fragmented, while thresholds for mobile fish were less affected by fragmentation. Our approach suggests mobility and water current are useful indicators of connectivity in marine environments and should be incorporated in seascape models.

Keywords

Habitat abundance Habitat loss Fragmentation Conservation Marine Landscape Damselfish 

References

  1. Adriaensen F, Chardon JP, DeBlust G, Swinnen E, Villalba S, Gulinck H, Matthysen E (2003) The application of “least-cost” modelling as a functional landscape model. Landsc Urban Plan 64:233–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alongi DM (2002) Present state and future of the world’s mangrove forests. Environ Conserv 29:331–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakker VJ, Van Vuren DH (2004) Gap-crossing decisions by the red squirrel, a forest-dependent small mammal. Conserv Biol 18:689–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bélisle M (2005) Measuring landscape connectivity: the challenge of behavioral landscape ecology. Ecology 86:1988–1995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bélisle M, St. Clair CC (2002) Cumulative effects of barriers on the movements of forest birds. Conserv Ecol 5:9 (Available from http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol5/iss2/art9/)
  6. Bélisle M, Desrochers A (2002) Gap-crossing decisions by forest birds: an empirical basis for parameterizing spatially-explicit, individual based models. Landscape Ecol 17:219–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bellwood DR, Hughes TP, Folke C, Nyström M (2004) Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature 429:827–833PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boström C, Pittman SJ, Simenstad C, Kneib RT (2011) Seascape ecology of coastal biogenic habitats: advances, gaps, and challenges. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 427:191–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carr MH, Neigel JE, Estes JA, Andelman S, Warner RR, Largier JL (2003) Comparing marine and terrestrial ecosystems: implications for the design of coastal marine reserves. Ecol Appl 13:S90–S107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cheney KL, Côté IM (2003) Habitat choice in adult longfin damselfish: territory characteristics and relocation times. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 287:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Crawley MJ (2007) The R book. Wiley, West SussexCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Curtis JMR, Vincent ACJ (2006) Life history of an unusual marine fish: survival, growth and movement patterns of Hippocampus guttulatus Cuvier 1829. J Fish Biol 68:707–733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Desrochers A, Hannon SJ (1997) Gap crossing decisions by forest songbirds during the post-fledging period. Conserv Biol 11:1204–1210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Desrochers A, Bélisle M, Morand-Ferron J, Bourque J (2011) Integrating GIS and homing experiments to study avian movement costs. Landscape Ecol 26:47–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Di Franco A, Gillanders BM, De Benedetto G, Pennetta A, De Leo GA, Guidetti P (2012) Dispersal patterns of coastal fish: implications for designing networks of marine protected areas. PLoS ONE 7:e31681. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031681 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. DiBacco C, Levin L, Sala E (2006) Connectivity in marine ecosystems: the importance of larval and spore dispersal. In: Crooks KR, Sanjayan M (eds) Connectivity conservation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 184–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fahrig L (2001) How much habitat is enough? Biol Conserv 100:65–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Foley MM, Halpern BS, Micheli F, Armsby MH, Caldwell MR, Crain CM, Prahler E, Rohr N, Sivas D, Beck MW, Carr MH, Crowder LB, Duffy JE, Hacker SD, McLeod KL, Palumbi SR, Peterson CH, Regan HM, Ruckelshaus MH, Sandifer PA, Steneck RS (2010) Guiding ecological principles for marine spatial planning. Mar Policy 34:955–966CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Foster SJ, Vincent ACJ (2004) Life history and ecology of seahorses: implications for conservation and management. J Fish Biol 65:1–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fraschetti S, Terlizzi A, Guarnieri G, Pizzolante F, D’Ambrosio P, Maiorano P, Beqiraj S, Boero F (2011) Effects of unplanned development on marine biodiversity: a lesson from Albania (central Mediterranean Sea). J Coast Res SI58:106–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Froese R, Pauly D (2012) FishBase. Available from http://www.fishbase.org. Accessed Feb 2012
  22. Gardner RH, Urban DL (2007) Neutral models for testing landscape hypotheses. Landscape Ecol 22:15–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gardner RH, Walters S (2002) Neutral Landscape Models. In: Gergel SE, Turner MG (eds) Learning landscape ecology: a practical guide to concepts and techniques. Springer, New York, pp 112–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gell FR, Roberts CM (2003) Benefits beyond boundaries: the fishery effects of marine reserves. Trends Ecol Evol 18:448–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gergel SE (2005) Spatial and non-spatial factors: when do they affect landscape indicators of watershed loading? Landscape Ecol 20:177–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gonzales EK, Gergel SE (2007) Testing assumptions of cost surface analysis—a tool for invasive species management. Landscape Ecol 22:1155–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Grober-Dunsmore R, Pittman SJ, Caldow C, Kendall MS, Frazer TK (2009) A landscape ecology approach for the study of ecological connectivity across tropical marine seascapes. In: Nagelkerken I (ed) Ecological connectivity among tropical coastal ecosystems. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 493–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hanski I (1999) Habitat connectivity, habitat continuity, and metapopulations in dynamic landscapes. Oikos 87:209–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. IUCN (2012) The IUCN red list of threatened species. Available from http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed June 2012
  30. Johansen JL, Jones GP (2011) Increasing ocean temperature reduces the metabolic performance and swimming ability of coral reef damselfishes. Global Change Biol 17:2971–2979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jonsen ID, Taylor PD (2000) Fine-scale movement behaviors of calopterygid damselflies are influenced by landscape structure: an experimental manipulation. Oikos 88:553–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kelt DA, Van Vuren D (1999) Energetic constraints and the relationship between body size and home range area in mammals. Ecology 80:337–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. King AW, With KA (2002) Dispersal success on spatially structured landscapes: when do spatial pattern and dispersal behavior really matter? Ecol Model 147:23–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kramer DL, Chapman MR (1999) Implications of fish home range size and relocation for marine reserve function. Environ Biol Fish 55:65–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lindsay CC (1978) Form, function, and locomotory habits in fish. In: Hoar WS, Randall DJ (eds) Fish physiology, vol VII: Locomotion. Academic Press, New York, pp 1–88Google Scholar
  36. Lino PG, Bentes L, Oliveira MT, Erzini K, Santos MN (2011) The African hind’s (Cephalopholis taeniops, Serranidae) use of artificial reefs off Sal Island (Cape Verde): a preliminary study based on acoustic telemetry. Braz J Oceanogr 59:69–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Marsh DM, Thakur KA, Bulka KC, Clarke LB (2004) Dispersal and colonization through open fields by a terrestrial, woodland salamander. Ecology 85:3396–3405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McGehee MA (1995) Juvenile settlement, survivorship and in situ growth rates of four species of Caribbean damselfishes in the genus Stegastes. Environ Biol Fish 44:393–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Moore CH, Van Niel K, Harvey ES (2011) The effect of landscape composition and configuration on the spatial distribution of temperate demersal fish. Ecography 34:425–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mora C, Sale PF (2002) Are populations of coral reef fish open or closed? Trends Ecol Evol 17:422–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mumby PJ, Hastings A (2008) The impact of ecosystem connectivity on coral reef resilience. J Appl Ecol 45:854–862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nielsen JL, Arrizabalaga H, Fragoso N, Hobday A, Lutcavage M, Sibert J (2009) Tagging and tracking of marine animals with electronic devices. Springer, The NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nyström M, Folke C, Moberg F (2000) Coral reef disturbance and resilience in a human-dominated environment. Trends Ecol Evol 15:413–417PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Perry G, Garland T Jr (2002) Lizard home ranges revisited: effects of sex, body size, diet, habitat, and phylogeny. Ecology 83:1870–1885CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ray N, Lehmann A, Joly P (2002) Modeling spatial distribution of amphibian populations: a GIS approach based on habitat matrix permeability. Biodivers Conserv 11:2143–2165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rayfield B, Fortin M-J, Fall A (2010) The sensitivity of least-cost habitat graphs to relative cost surface values. Landscape Ecol 25:519–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Revilla E, Wiegand T, Palomares F, Ferreras P, Delibes M (2004) Effects of matrix heterogeneity on animal dispersal: from individual behavior to metapopulation-level parameters. Am Nat 164:E130–153PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Roberts CM (1997) Connectivity and management of Caribbean coral reefs. Science 278:1454–1457PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Robinson J, Aumeeruddy R, Jorgensen TL, Ohman MC (2008) Dynamics of camouflage (Epinephelus polyphekadion) and brown marbled grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) spawning aggregations at a remote reef site, Seychelles. Bull Mar Sci 83:415–431Google Scholar
  50. Sanchez-Camara J, Booth DJ (2004) Movement, home range and site fidelity of the weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus (Teleostei: Syngnathidae). Environ Biol Fish 70:31–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schadt S, Knauer F, Kaczensky P, Revilla E, Wiegand T, Trepl L (2002) Rule-based assessment of suitable habitat and patch connectivity for the Eurasian lynx. Ecol Appl 12:1469–1483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sweatman H, Robertson DR (1994) Grazing halos and predation on juvenile Caribbean surgeonfishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 111:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Swift TL, Hannon SJ (2010) Critical thresholds associated with habitat loss: a review of the concepts, evidence, and applications. Biol Rev 85:35–53PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tischendorf L, Fahrig L (2000) On the usage and measurement of landscape connectivity. Oikos 90:7–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Treml EA, Halpin PN, Urban DL, Pratson LF (2008) Modeling population connectivity by ocean currents, a graph-theoretic approach for marine conservation. Landscape Ecol 23:19–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Turgeon K, Robillard A, Grégoire J, Duclos V, Kramer DL (2010) Functional connectivity from a reef fish perspective: behavioral tactics for moving in a fragmented landscape. Ecology 91:3332–3342PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Vincent ACJ, Foster SJ, Koldewey HJ (2011) Conservation and management of seahorses and other Syngnathidae. J Fish Biol 78:1681–1724PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Waycott M, Duarte CM, Carruthers TJB, Orth RJ, Dennison WC, Olyarnik S, Calladine A, Fourqurean JW, Heck KL, Hughes AR, Kendrick GA, Judson KW, Short FT, Williams SL (2009) Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:12377–12381PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wiens J, Schooley R, Weeks RD Jr (1997) Patchy landscapes and animal movements: do beetles percolate? Oikos 78:257–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Williams D, Mc B, Wolanski E, Andrews JC (1984) Transport mechanisms and potential movement of planktonic larvae in the central region of the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 3:229–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. With KA (1997) The application of neutral landscape models in conservation biology. Conserv Biol 11:1069–1080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. With KA, King AW (1999) Dispersal success on fractal landscapes: a consequence of lacunarity thresholds. Landscape Ecol 14:73–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. With KA, Cadaret SJ, Davis C (1999) Movement responses to patch structure in experimental fractal landscapes. Ecology 80:1340–1353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Zollner PA, Lima SL (2005) Behavioral tradeoffs when dispersing across a patchy landscape. Oikos 108:219–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Project Seahorse, Fisheries CentreThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Forest Sciences, Centre for Applied Conservation ResearchThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations