Modelling Deep Water Habitats to Develop a Spatially Explicit, Fine Scale Understanding of the Distribution of the Western Rock Lobster, Panulirus cygnusReportar como inadecuado




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Background

The western rock lobster, Panulirus cygnus, is endemic to Western Australia and supports substantial commercial and recreational fisheries. Due to and its wide distribution and the commercial and recreational importance of the species a key component of managing western rock lobster is understanding the ecological processes and interactions that may influence lobster abundance and distribution. Using terrain analyses and distribution models of substrate and benthic biota, we assess the physical drivers that influence the distribution of lobsters at a key fishery site.

Methods and Findings

Using data collected from hydroacoustic and towed video surveys, 20 variables including geophysical, substrate and biota variables were developed to predict the distributions of substrate type three classes of reef, rhodoliths and sand and dominant biota kelp, sessile invertebrates and macroalgae within a 40 km2 area about 30 km off the west Australian coast. Lobster presence-absence data were collected within this area using georeferenced pots. These datasets were used to develop a classification tree model for predicting the distribution of the western rock lobster. Interestingly, kelp and reef were not selected as predictors. Instead, the model selected geophysical and geomorphic scalar variables, which emphasise a mix of terrain within limited distances. The model of lobster presence had an adjusted D2 of 64 and an 80% correct classification.

Conclusions

Species distribution models indicate that juxtaposition in fine scale terrain is most important to the western rock lobster. While key features like kelp and reef may be important to lobster distribution at a broad scale, it is the fine scale features in terrain that are likely to define its ecological niche. Determining the most appropriate landscape configuration and scale will be essential to refining niche habitats and will aid in selecting appropriate sites for protecting critical lobster habitats.



Autor: Renae K. Hovey , Kimberly P. Van Niel, Lynda M. Bellchambers, Matthew B. Pember

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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