Publications

Andradi-Brown et al. 2017


scientific_article | Biol Invasions

Large-scale invasion of western Atlantic mesophotic reefs by lionfish potentially undermines culling-based management

Andradi-Brown DA, Vermeij MJA, Slattery M, Lesser M, Bejarano I, Appeldoorn R, Goodbody-Gringley G, Chequer AD, Pitt JM, Eddy C, Smith SR, Brokovich E, Pinheiro HT, Jessup ME, Shepherd B, Rocha LA, Curtis-Quick J, Eyal G, Noyes TJ, Rogers AD, Exton DA


Www fec836ca290318f37dc3ecd481f22b98faf488d5ddef687807ca6b76d8e893ed
Gscholar 58dd9f05df3b8d1811d087e8507325500777053d6677b471fd75373a30a4cee1

Abstract

The detrimental effects of invasive lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) on western Atlantic shallow reefs are well documented, including declines in coral cover and native fish populations, with disproportionate predation on critically endangered reef fish in some locations. Yet despite individuals reaching depths[100 m, the role of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; reefs 30–150 m) in lionfish ecology has not been addressed. With lionfish control programs in most invaded locations limited to 30 mby diving restrictions, understanding the role of MCEs in lionfish distributions remains a critical knowledge gap potentially hindering conservation management. Here we synthesise unpublished and previously published studies of lionfish abundance and body length at paired shallow reef (0–30 m) and MCE sites in 63 locations in seven western Atlantic countries and eight sites in three Indo-Pacific countries where lionfish are native. Lionfish were found at similar abundances across the depth gradient from shallow to adjacent MCEs, with no difference between invaded and native sites. Of the five invaded countries where length data were available three had larger lionfish on mesophotic than shallow reefs, one showed no significant difference, while the fifth represented a recently invaded site. This suggests at least some mesophotic populations may represent extensions of natural ontogenetic migrations. Interestingly, despite their shallow focus, in many cases culling programs did not appear to alter abundance between depths. In general, we identify widespread invasive lionfish populations on MCE that could be responsible for maintaining high densities of lionfish recruits despite local shallow-biased control programs. This study highlights the need for management plans to incorporate lionfish populations below the depth limit of recreational diving in order to address all aspects of the local population and maximise the effectiveness of control efforts.

Research sites

10.1007   s10530 016 1358 0
Keywords
Adobe pdf disabled addd0070fc849240f18943197db4226a4caf211ae987143710823268485043aa
Log-in to access PDFs


Meta-data
Depth range
0- 150 m

Mesophotic “relevance”
110x mentions

Word count
6051 words

Fields
Biodiversity Ecology Fisheries Management Connectivity

Research focus
Fish

Locations
Honduras-Bay Islands Bahamas Bermuda Curaçao Israel-Eilat Puerto Rico USA-Florida USA-Gulf of Mexico

Research platforms
Diving (unspecified) Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Diving - Technical Open-Circuit Diving - Technical Rebreather Diving - Regular Open-Circuit
Author profiles
Dominic Andradi-Brown ( 5 pubs)
Mark Vermeij ( 7 pubs)
Marc Slattery ( 10 pubs)
Michael P. Lesser ( 12 pubs)
Ivonne Bejarano ( 4 pubs)
Richard Appeldoorn ( 7 pubs)
Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley ( 3 pubs)
Eran Brokovich ( 9 pubs)
Hudson Tercio Pinheiro ( 5 pubs)
Elliott Jessup ( 1 pubs)
Bart Shepherd ( 1 pubs)
Luiz Rocha ( 5 pubs)
Gal Eyal ( 6 pubs)
Tim Noyes ( 2 pubs)
Research sites (dec deg)
Bahamas
Unnamed site
Lat: 23.767 Long: -76.1

Bermuda
Unnamed site
Lat: 32.325 Long: -64.653

Bonaire
Unnamed site
Lat: 12.178 Long: -68.239

Cayman Islands
Unnamed site
Lat: 19.69 Long: -80.037

Curaçao
Unnamed site
Lat: 12.17 Long: -68.99

Honduras-Bay Islands
Unnamed site
Lat: 16.095 Long: -86.927

Puerto Rico
Unnamed site
Lat: 18.221 Long: -66.59

Israel-Eilat
Unnamed site
Lat: 29.501 Long: 34.917

Micronesia
Unnamed site
Lat: 6.854 Long: 158.262

Philippines
Unnamed site
Lat: 13.801 Long: 120.911

Bahamas
Unnamed site
Lat: 23.767 Long: -76.1

Bermuda
Unnamed site
Lat: 32.325 Long: -64.653

Bonaire
Unnamed site
Lat: 12.178 Long: -68.239

Cayman Islands
Unnamed site
Lat: 19.69 Long: -80.037

Curaçao
Unnamed site
Lat: 12.17 Long: -68.99

Honduras-Bay Islands
Unnamed site
Lat: 16.095 Long: -86.927

Puerto Rico
Unnamed site
Lat: 18.221 Long: -66.59

Israel-Eilat
Unnamed site
Lat: 29.501 Long: 34.917

Micronesia
Unnamed site
Lat: 6.854 Long: 158.262

Philippines
Unnamed site
Lat: 13.801 Long: 120.911