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Larval accumulation and retention: implications for the design of marine reserves and essential habitat

Authors: Warner, Robert R.; Swearer, Stephen E.; Caselle, Jennifer E.

Source: Bulletin of Marine Science, Volume 66, Number 3, May 2000 , pp. 821-830(10)

Publisher: University of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

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For many marine fishes, the literature contains indications of a surprising amount of local larval retention, even in species with long pelagic larval durations. In addition, there is circumstantial evidence that, before settlement, larvae accumulate in offshore areas. Proper design of marine reserves should include consideration of larval accumulation and retention. If retention and accumulation turn out to be common features of local marine population dynamics, areas important to these processes must be included in reserves and in the designation of essential fish habitat. If recruitment limitation is a common feature of the dynamics of local marine populations, it follows that maintenance of the supply of potential settlers is critical. Extensive larval retention may require major reassessment of fishery-enhancement models of marine reserves that depend on larval export for their effects.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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