Title

Deep-Diving and Diel Changes in Vertical Habitat Use by Caribbean Reef Sharks Carcharhinus perezi

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-23-2007

Publication Title

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Keywords

Satellite tracking, Depth range, Coral reef ecology, Marine Protected Area, Carcharhinidae

ISSN

0171-8630

Volume

344

First Page

271

Last Page

275

Abstract

Longline sampling (83 sets) supplemented with 6 pop-off archival transmitting (PAT) tag deployments were used to characterize vertical habitat use by Caribbean reef sharks Carcharhinus perezi at Glover's Reef atoll, Belize. Longline catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) in 2 shallow reef habitats (lagoon <18 m depth, fore-reef <40 m depth) underwent significant nocturnal increases for sharks larger than 110 cm total length (TL), but not for smaller sharks. Nocturnal CPUE of small sharks appeared to increase in the lagoon and decrease on the fore-reef, suggestive of movements to avoid larger conspecifics. PAT tag deployments (7 to 20 d) indicate that large C. perezi generally increased the amount of time they spent in the upper 40 m of the water column during the night, and inhabited much greater depths and tolerated lower temperatures than previously described. The wide vertical (0 to 356 m) and temperature range (31 to 12.4°C) documented for this top-predator reveals ecological coupling of deep and shallow reef habitats and has implications for Marine Protected Area (MPA) design.

Comments

©Inter-Research 2007

ResearcherID

G-4080-2013

DOI

10.3354/meps06941

Peer Reviewed

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