Incorporating early life stages of fishes into estuarine spatial conservation planning

Costa, Micheli D. P., Possingham, Hugh P. and Muelbert, Jose Henrique (2016) Incorporating early life stages of fishes into estuarine spatial conservation planning. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 26 6: 1013-1030. doi:10.1002/aqc.2584

Author Costa, Micheli D. P.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Muelbert, Jose Henrique
Title Incorporating early life stages of fishes into estuarine spatial conservation planning
Journal name Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1099-0755
Publication date 2016-12-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/aqc.2584
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 26
Issue 6
Start page 1013
End page 1030
Total pages 18
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Subject 1104 Aquatic Science
2303 Ecology
2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
Abstract Many species of fish depend on estuaries to complete their development. Most of them have a planktonic early life stage, and adults of the same species often live in a different habitat. The aim was to assess the importance of incorporating data on fish eggs and larvae in systematic conservation planning at the Patos Lagoon estuary, Brazil. Different scenarios, where fish larvae and eggs were or were not included in the systematic conservation planning process, were investigated. An estimate of artisanal fishing revenue was used as an opportunity cost and compared with a spatially homogeneous cost. Cluster analysis was performed to assess the impact of incorporating ichthyoplankton data on the outcomes of estuarine systematic conservation planning. Regardless of the opportunity cost, the spatial plans fell into two clusters – those with and without fish egg and larvae data. This shows that egg and larvae data have a large impact on priorities for conservation actions in space. This approach is the first to combine artisanal fishery economic spatial data with a conservation plan that incorporates early life stages of fishes. In the case of the Patos Lagoon estuary, shallow areas were particularly important for reaching conservation targets in all scenarios. Considering the dynamic nature of these ecosystems, much work needs to be done to devise better methods of spatial planning in estuaries.
Keyword Estuarine conservation
Fish conservation
Fish eggs
Fish larvae
Systematic spatial conservation planning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 310931/2012-6
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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