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A groundwater-fed coastal inlet as habitat for the Caribbean queen conch Lobatus gigas-an acoustic telemetry and space use analysis

Stieglitz, Thomas C. and Dujon, Antoine M. 2017, A groundwater-fed coastal inlet as habitat for the Caribbean queen conch Lobatus gigas-an acoustic telemetry and space use analysis, Marine ecology progress series, vol. 571, pp. 139-152, doi: 10.3354/meps12123.

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Title A groundwater-fed coastal inlet as habitat for the Caribbean queen conch Lobatus gigas-an acoustic telemetry and space use analysis
Formatted title A groundwater-fed coastal inlet as habitat for the Caribbean queen conch Lobatus gigas-an acoustic telemetry and space use analysis
Author(s) Stieglitz, Thomas C.
Dujon, Antoine M.
Journal name Marine ecology progress series
Volume number 571
Start page 139
End page 152
Total pages 14
Publisher Inter Research
Place of publication Olendorf, Germany
Publication date 2017-05-17
ISSN 0171-8630
Keyword(s) Lobatus gigas
Queen conch
Acoustic telemetry
Home range
Marine protected area
Marginal habitat
Accelerometer
VEMCO Positioning System
Summary  The queen conch Lobatus (Strombus) gigas, a marine snail, is among the most important fisheries resources of the Caribbean region. To provide effective protection in marine reserves, a good understanding of its habitat usage is essential. Queen conches commonly inhabit marine habitats. In this study, its activity space in a marginal estuarine-like habitat, the groundwater-fed inlet of Xel-Há (Mexico) was determined using high-resolution acoustic telemetry (VEMCO Positioning System). Thirty-eight animals with syphonal lengths ranging from 80 to 200 mm were tagged, 1 of them with an accelerometer tag. Their trajectories were recorded for 20 mo at 5 m resolution in a closely spaced array of 12 receivers. Space–time kernel home ranges ranged from 1000 to 18500 m2 with an ontogenetically increasing trend. Juveniles, subadults and most adults displayed continuous, non-patchy home ranges consistent with the typical intensive feeding activity by this fast-growing gastropod. In some adults, Lévy flight-like fragmentation of home ranges was observed that may be related to feeding range expansion or other ecological drivers such as the breeding cycle. The observed small home ranges indicate that the space use of queen conch in this estuarine-like habitat is not conditioned by food availability, and despite environmental stress due to daily low-oxygen conditions, space use is comparable to that observed in more typical marine habitats. In a marine reserve context, the groundwater-fed inlet provides adequate protection of this inshore queen conch population. Such marginal habitats may play an increasingly important role in conservation management as pressure on populations increase.
Language eng
DOI 10.3354/meps12123
Field of Research 0602 Ecology
0608 Zoology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30107521

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.