It is important to account for the movement behaviour of fishes when<br />designing effective marine protected areas (MPAs). Fish movements occur<br />across different spatial and temporal scales and understanding the<br />variety of movements is essential to make correct management decisions.<br />This study describes in detail the movement patterns of an economically<br />and commercially important species, Diplodus sargus, within a<br />well-enforced Mediterranean MPA. We monitored horizontal and vertical<br />movements of 41 adult individuals using passive acoustic telemetry for<br />up to one year. We applied novel analysis and visualization techniques<br />to get a comprehensive view of a wide range of movements. D. sargus<br />individuals were highly territorial, moving within small home ranges(< 1<br />km(2)), inside which they displayed repetitive diel activity patterns.<br />Extraordinary movements beyond the ordinary home range were observed<br />under two specific conditions. First, during stormy events D. sargus<br />presented a sheltering behaviour, moving to more protected places to<br />avoid the disturbance. Second, during the spawning season they made<br />excursions to deep areas (> 50 m), where they aggregated to spawn. This<br />study advances our understanding about the functioning of an established<br />MPA and provides important insights into the biology and management of a<br />small sedentary species, suggesting the relevance of rare but important<br />fish behaviours.
Aspillaga, E., Bartumeus, F., Linares, C., Starr, R. M., López-Sanz, À., Díaz, D., … Hereu, B. (2016). Ordinary and extraordinary movement behaviour of small resident fish within a mediterranean marine protected area. PLoS ONE, 11(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159813