Going Downriver: Patterns and Cues in Hurricane-Driven Movements of Common Snook in a Subtropical Coastal River

Abstract

Extreme climate events such as hurricanes can influence the movement and distribution of fish and other aquatic vertebrates. However, our understanding of the scale of movement responses and how they vary across taxa and ecosystems remains incomplete. In this study, we used acoustic telemetry data to investigate the movement patterns of common snook (Centropomus undecimalis) in the Florida Coastal Everglades during Hurricane Irma, which made landfall on the southwest Florida coast as a Category 3 storm on 10 September 2017 after passing in close proximity to our study site. We hypothesized that the hurricane resulted in shifts in distribution and that these movements may have been driven by environmental cues stemming from changes in barometric pressure associated with hurricane conditions, fluctuations in water levels (stage) characterizing altered riverine conditions, or a combination of both hurricane and riverine drivers. The data revealed large-scale movements of common snook in the time period surrounding hurricane passage, with 73% of fish detected moving from the upper river into downriver habitats, and some individuals potentially exiting the river. Furthermore, regression model selection indicated that these movements were correlated to both hurricane and riverine conditions, showing increased common snook movement at higher river stage and lower barometric pressure, and stage explaining a larger proportion of model deviance. Animal movement has widespread and diverse ecological implications, and by better understanding the factors that drive movement, we may anticipate how future extreme climate events could affect fish populations in impact-prone regions.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Adams, A., R.K. Wolfe, N. Barkowski, and D. Overcash. 2009. Fidelity to spawning grounds by a catadromous fish. Centropomus undecimalis. Marine Ecology Progress Series 389: 213–222.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Akaike, H. 1998. Information theory and an extension of the maximum likelihood principle. In Selected papers of Hirotugu Akaike, ed. E. Parzen, K. Tanabe, and G. Kitagawa, 199–213. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Anderson, D.R. 2008. Model based inference in the life sciences: A primer on evidence. New York: Springer Science & Business Media.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bacheler, N.M., K.W. Shertzer, R.T. Cheshire, and J.H. MacMahan. 2019. Tropical storms influence the movement behavior of a demersal oceanic fish species. Scientific Reports 9 (1): 1481.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Bailey, H., and D.H. Secor. 2016. Coastal evacuations by fish during extreme weather events. Scientific Reports 6 (1): 30280.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Barbosa, A., J. Brown, A. Jimenez-Valverde, and R. Real. 2016. modEvA—An R package for model evaluation and analysis. R package version 1.3.2.

  7. Blewett, D.A., P.W. Stevens, T.R. Champeau, and R.G. Taylor. 2009. Use of rivers by common snook Centropomus undecimalis in southwest Florida: A first step in addressing the overwintering paradigm. Florida Scientist 72 (4): 310–324.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Blewett, D.A., P.W. Stevens, and J. Carter. 2017. Ecological effects of river flooding on abundance and body condition of a large, euryhaline fish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 563: 211–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Bolker, B., and R. Team. 2010. bbmle: Tools for general maximum likelihood estimation. R package version 0.9 5.

  10. Bonte, D., H. Van Dyck, J.M. Bullock, A. Coulon, M. Delgado, M. Gibbs, V. Lehouck, E. Matthysen, K. Mustin, and M. Saastamoinen. 2012. Costs of dispersal. Biological Reviews 87 (2): 290–312.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Boucek, R.E., and J.S. Rehage. 2013. No free lunch: Displaced marsh consumers regulate a prey subsidy to an estuarine consumer. Oikos 122: 1453–1464.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Boucek, R.E., and J.S. Rehage. 2014. Climate extremes drive changes in functional community structure. Global Change Biology 20 (6): 1821–1831.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Boucek, R.E., M.R. Heithaus, R. Santos, P. Stevens, and J.S. Rehage. 2017. Can animal habitat use patterns influence their vulnerability to extreme climate events? An estuarine sportfish case study. Global Change Biology 23 (10): 4045–4057.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Boucek, R., A. Trotter, D. Blewett, J. Ritch, R. Santos, P. Stevens, J. Massie, and J. Rehage. 2019. Contrasting river migrations of common snook between two Florida rivers using acoustic telemetry. Fisheries Research 213: 219–225.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Bowler, D.E., and T.G. Benton. 2005. Causes and consequences of animal dispersal strategies: Relating individual behaviour to spatial dynamics. Biological Reviews 80 (2): 205–225.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Burnham, K.P., and D.R. Anderson. 2003. Model selection and multimodel inference: A practical information-theoretic approach. New York: Springer Science & Business Media.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Cangialosi, J., A. Latto, and R. Berg. 2018. Hurricane Irma (AL112017): 30 August–12 September 2017. National Hurricane Center Tropical Cyclone Report, 111 pp.

  18. Chen, R., and R.R. Twilley. 1999. Patterns of mangrove forest structure and soil nutrient dynamics along the Shark River Estuary, Florida. Estuaries and Coasts 22 (4): 955–970.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Childers, D.L. 2006. A synthesis of long-term research by the Florida Coastal Everglades LTER Program. Hydrobiologia 569 (1): 531–544.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Childers, D.L., J.N. Boyer, S.E. Davis, C.J. Madden, D.T. Rudnick, and F.H. Sklar. 2006. Relating precipitation and water management to nutrient concentrations in the oligotrophic “upside-down” estuaries of the Florida Everglades. Limnology and Oceanography 51 (1part2): 602–616.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Clements, S., D. Jepsen, M. Karnowski, and C.B. Schreck. 2005. Optimization of an acoustic telemetry array for detecting transmitter-implanted fish. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 25 (2): 429–436.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Danielson, T.M., V.H. Rivera-Monroy, E. Castañeda-Moya, H. Briceño, R. Travieso, B.D. Marx, E. Gaiser, and L.M. Farfán. 2017. Assessment of Everglades mangrove forest resilience: Implications for above-ground net primary productivity and carbon dynamics. Forest Ecology and Management 404: 115–125.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Dessu, S.B., R.M. Price, T.G. Troxler, and J.S. Kominoski. 2018. Effects of sea-level rise and freshwater management on long-term water levels and water quality in the Florida Coastal Everglades. Journal of Environmental Management 211: 164–176.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Durant, J.M., D.Ø. Hjermann, G. Ottersen, and N.C. Stenseth. 2007. Climate and the match or mismatch between predator requirements and resource availability. Climate Research 33: 271–283.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Earl, J.E., and P.A. Zollner. 2017. Advancing research on animal-transported subsidies by integrating animal movement and ecosystem modeling. Journal of Animal Ecology 86 (5): 987–997.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Ewe, S.M., E.E. Gaiser, D.L. Childers, D. Iwaniec, V.H. Rivera-Monroy, and R.R. Twilley. 2006. Spatial and temporal patterns of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) along two freshwater-estuarine transects in the Florida Coastal Everglades. Hydrobiologia 569 (1): 459–474.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Fry, B., and T.J. Smith. 2002. Stable isotope studies of red mangroves and filter feeders from the Shark River estuary, Florida. Bulletin of Marine Science 70: 871–890.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Gilmore, R.G., C.J. Donohoe, and D.W. Cooke. 1983. Observations on the distribution and biology of east-central Florida populations of the common snook, Centropomus undecimalis (Bloch). Florida Scientist 46 (3/4): 313–336.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Gjelland, K.Ø., and R.D. Hedger. 2013. Environmental influence on transmitter detection probability in biotelemetry: Developing a general model of acoustic transmission. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4 (7): 665–674.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Grammer, P.O., P.F. Mickle, M.S. Peterson, J.M. Havrylkoff, W.T. Slack, and R.T. Leaf. 2015. Activity patterns of gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) in the staging area of the Pascagoula River during fall outmigration. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 24 (4): 553–561.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Grossi, P., and H. Kunreuther. 2005. Catastrophe modeling: A new approach to managing risk. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Guisan, A., and N.E. Zimmermann. 2000. Predictive habitat distribution models in ecology. Ecological Modelling 135 (2-3): 147–186.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Hazen, E.L., S. Jorgensen, R.R. Rykaczewski, S.J. Bograd, D.G. Foley, I.D. Jonsen, S.A. Shaffer, J.P. Dunne, D.P. Costa, and L.B. Crowder. 2013. Predicted habitat shifts of Pacific top predators in a changing climate. Nature Climate Change 3 (3): 234–238.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Heupel, M., C. Simpfendorfer, and R. Hueter. 2003. Running before the storm: Blacktip sharks respond to falling barometric pressure associated with tropical storm Gabrielle. Journal of Fish Biology 63 (5): 1357–1363.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Hobday, A.J., and J.M. Lough. 2011. Projected climate change in Australian marine and freshwater environments. Marine and Freshwater Research 62 (9): 1000–1014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Holland, G.J. 1980. An analytic model of the wind and pressure profiles in hurricanes. Monthly Weather Review 108 (8): 1212–1218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Hussey, N.E., S.T. Kessel, K. Aarestrup, S.J. Cooke, P.D. Cowley, A.T. Fisk, R.G. Harcourt, K.N. Holland, S.J. Iverson, and J.F. Kocik. 2015. Aquatic animal telemetry: A panoramic window into the underwater world. Science 348 (6240): 1255642.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. Johnson, J.B., and K.S. Omland. 2004. Model selection in ecology and evolution. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 19 (2): 101–108.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Jones, T., and W. Cresswell. 2010. The phenology mismatch hypothesis: Are declines of migrant birds linked to uneven global climate change? Journal of Animal Ecology 79 (1): 98–108.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Keellings, D., and J.J. Hernández Ayala. 2019. Extreme rainfall associated with Hurricane Maria over Puerto Rico and its connections to climate variability and change. Geophysical Research Letters 46 (5): 2964–2973.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Landsea, C.W., and J.L. Franklin. 2013. Atlantic hurricane database uncertainty and presentation of a new database format. Monthly Weather Review 141 (10): 3576–3592.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Liu, Y.L., H.B. Lillywhite, and M.C. Tu. 2010. Sea snakes anticipate tropical cyclone. Marine Biology 157 (11): 2369–2373.

  43. Locascio, J.V., and D.A. Mann. 2005. Effects of Hurricane Charley on fish chorusing. Biology Letters 1 (3): 362–365.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Lowerre-Barbieri, S., D. Villegas-Ríos, S. Walters, J. Bickford, W. Cooper, R. Muller, and A. Trotter. 2014. Spawning site selection and contingent behavior in common snook, Centropomus undecimalis. PLoS One 9 (7): e101809.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  45. Marshall, F.E., G.L. Wingard, and P.A. Pitts. 2014. Estimates of natural salinity and hydrology in a subtropical estuarine ecosystem: Implications for Greater Everglades restoration. Estuaries and Coasts 37 (6): 1449–1466.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Matich, P., and M.R. Heithaus. 2014. Multi-tissue stable isotope analysis and acoustic telemetry reveal seasonal variability in the trophic interactions of juvenile bull sharks in a coastal estuary. Journal of Animal Ecology 83 (1): 199–213.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Matich, P., and M.R. Heithaus. 2015. Individual variation in ontogenetic niche shifts in habitat use and movement patterns of a large estuarine predator (Carcharhinus leucas). Oecologia 178 (2): 347–359.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Matich, P., J.S. Ault, R.E. Boucek, D.R. Bryan, K.R. Gastrich, C.L. Harvey, M.R. Heithaus, J.J. Kiszka, V. Paz, and J.S. Rehage. 2017. Ecological niche partitioning within a large predator guild in a nutrient-limited estuary. Limnology and Oceanography 62 (3): 934–953.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. McIvor, C., J. Ley, and R. Bjork. 1994. Changes in freshwater inflow from the Everglades to Florida Bay including effects on biota and biotic processes: A review. In Everglades: The ecosystem and its restoration, ed. S.M. Davis and J.C. Ogden, 117–146. Delray Beach: St. Lucie Press.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Meehl, G.A., F. Zwiers, J. Evans, T. Knutson, L. Mearns, and P. Whetton. 2000. Trends in extreme weather and climate events: Issues related to modeling extremes in projections of future climate change. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 81 (3): 427–436.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Muller, R.G., A.A. Trotter, and P.W. Stevens. 2015. The 2015 stock assessment update of common snook, Centropomus undecimalis. Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute In House Report IHR 2015–004. https://myfwc.com/media/13332/snook-2015.pdf. Accessed 12 December 2018.

  52. Nathan, R., W.M. Getz, E. Revilla, M. Holyoak, R. Kadmon, D. Saltz, and P.E. Smouse. 2008. A movement ecology paradigm for unifying organismal movement research. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105 (49): 19052–19059.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Patterson, W.F., J.C. Watterson, R.L. Shipp, and J.H. Cowan. 2001. Movement of tagged red snapper in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 130 (4): 533–545.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Peters, K.M., R.E. Matheson Jr., and R.G. Taylor. 1998. Reproduction and early life history of common snook, Centropomus undecimalis (Bloch), in Florida. Bulletin of Marine Science 62: 509–529.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Price, R.M., P.K. Swart, and H.E. Willoughby. 2008. Seasonal and spatial variation in the stable isotopic composition (δ18O and δD) of precipitation in south Florida. Journal of Hydrology 358 (3-4): 193–205.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. R Core Team. 2017. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Rehage, J.S., and W.F. Loftus. 2007. Seasonal fish community variation in headwater mangrove creeks in the southwestern Everglades: An examination of their role as dry-down refuges. Bulletin of Marine Science 80: 625–645.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Rosenblatt, A.E., and M.R. Heithaus. 2011. Does variation in movement tactics and trophic interactions among American alligators create habitat linkages? Journal of Animal Ecology 80 (4): 786–798.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Saha, A.K., C.S. Moses, R.M. Price, V. Engel, T.J. Smith, and G. Anderson. 2012. A hydrological budget (2002–2008) for a large subtropical wetland ecosystem indicates marine groundwater discharge accompanies diminished freshwater flow. Estuaries and Coasts 35 (2): 459–474.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Secor, D.H. 2015. Migration ecology of marine fishes. 1st ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Secor, D.H., F. Zhang, M.H. O’Brien, and M. Li. 2018. Ocean destratification and fish evacuation caused by a Mid-Atlantic tropical storm. ICES Journal of Marine Science 76 (2): 573–584.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Shea, D.J., and W.M. Gray. 1973. The hurricane’s inner core region. I. Symmetric and asymmetric structure. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 30: 1544–1564.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Shenker, J.M., E. Cowie-Mojica, R.E. Crabtree, H.M. Patterson, C. Stevens, and K. Yakubik. 2002. Recruitment of tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) leptocephali into the Indian River Lagoon, Florida. Contributions in Marine Science 35: 55–69.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Simpfendorfer, C.A., M.R. Heupel, and A.B. Collins. 2008. Variation in the performance of acoustic receivers and its implication for positioning algorithms in a riverine setting. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65 (3): 482–492.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Stevens, P.W., R.E. Boucek, A.A. Trotter, J.L. Ritch, E.R. Johnson, C.P. Shea, D.A. Blewett, and J.S. Rehage. 2018. Illustrating the value of cross-site comparisons: Habitat use by a large, euryhaline fish differs along a latitudinal gradient. Fisheries Research 208: 42–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Strickland, B.A., J.A. Massie, N. Viadero, R.O. Santos, K.R. Gastrich, V. Paz, P. O’Donnell, A.M. Kroetz, D.T. Ho, J.S. Rehage, and M.R. Heithaus. 2019. Movements of juvenile bull sharks in response to a major hurricane within a tropical estuarine nursery area. Estuaries and Coasts. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-019-00600-7.

  67. Symonds, M.R., and A. Moussalli. 2011. A brief guide to model selection, multimodel inference and model averaging in behavioural ecology using Akaike’s information criterion. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65 (1): 13–21.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Taylor, R., H. Grier, and J. Whittington. 1998. Spawning rhythms of common snook in Florida. Journal of Fish Biology 53 (3): 502–520.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Trotter, A.A., D.A. Blewett, R.G. Taylor, and P.W. Stevens. 2012. Migrations of common snook from a tidal river with implications for skipped spawning. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141 (4): 1016–1025.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Udyawer, V., A. Chin, D.M. Knip, C.A. Simpfendorfer, and M.R. Heupel. 2013. Variable response of coastal sharks to severe tropical storms: Environmental cues and changes in space use. Marine Ecology Progress Series 480: 171–183.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Walsh, C., I. Reinfelds, M. Ives, C.A. Gray, R.J. West, and D.E. van der Meulen. 2013. Environmental influences on the spatial ecology and spawning behaviour of an estuarine-resident fish, Macquaria colonorum. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 118: 60–71.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Walsh, K.J., S.J. Camargo, G.A. Vecchi, A.S. Daloz, J. Elsner, K. Emanuel, M. Horn, Y.-K. Lim, M. Roberts, and C. Patricola. 2015. Hurricanes and climate: The US CLIVAR working group on hurricanes. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 96 (6): 997–1017.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Winner, B.L., D.A. Blewett, R.H. McMichael Jr., and C.B. Guenther. 2010. Relative abundance and distribution of common snook along shoreline habitats of Florida estuaries. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 139 (1): 62–79.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Young, J.M., B.G. Yeiser, and J.A. Whittington. 2014. Spatiotemporal dynamics of spawning aggregations of common snook on the east coast of Florida. Marine Ecology Progress Series 505: 227–240.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank our collaborators at Everglades National Park, Florida International University, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for their ongoing support of our research, along with the contributions of P. O’Donnell at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in providing acoustic detection data shedding light on snook movement outside of the Shark River. We express our gratitude to P. Stevens, A. Trotter, D. Ho, J. Trexler, J. Nelson, R. James, and V. Paz, for their participation in discussions that helped shaped the questions investigated herein. We also thank J. Kominoski, S. Krishnan, M. Vilchez, and two anonymous reviewers for their feedback and thoughtful comments during the writing of this manuscript. This is contribution #147 from the Center for Coastal Oceans Research and #914 from the Southeast Environmental Research Center in the Institute of Water and Environment at Florida International University.

Funding

The authors would like to acknowledge their funders at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers under Cooperative Agreement #W912HZ-12-2-0015 and the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research program under Grant #DEB-1237517. The contributions of H. Willoughby and J. Hernandez were supported by the National Science Foundation Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences under Grant #1724198.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jordan A. Massie.

Additional information

Communicated by Mark S. Peterson

Electronic Supplementary Material

ESM 1

(PDF 255 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Massie, J.A., Strickland, B.A., Santos, R.O. et al. Going Downriver: Patterns and Cues in Hurricane-Driven Movements of Common Snook in a Subtropical Coastal River. Estuaries and Coasts 43, 1158–1173 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-019-00617-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Hurricanes
  • Extreme climate events
  • Common snook
  • Centropomus undecimalis
  • Animal movement
  • Acoustic telemetry