Monday, July 7, 2014

07/07/2014: Habitat and space use by Australian sharks

Resource-use strategies affect how sharks respond to changes within their environment which may be important when considering conservation and management. 

Movement data on sharks, that use nearshore areas, is particularly valuable because these habitats are highly dynamic. 

An Australian study used passive acoustic telemetry to examine the space-use, habitat-selection and habitat-specialisation patterns of the Australian sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon taylori, in a nearshore area. 

Habitat selectivity and specialisation were assessed across five benthic habitat types, including outer bay, seagrass, reef, sandy inshore and intertidal mudflats. 

The majority of R. taylori sharks were present for short periods of time, ranging from 1 to 112 days (mean ± s.e. = 16.9 ± 4.9). 

Activity-space analysis indicated that R. taylori roamed widely, but monthly activity-space size was consistent among individuals and through time. Both the population and individuals displayed wide habitat niches, indicating that the species may be resilient to environmental change. 

However, R. taylori consistently selected for seagrass over other habitats, potentially for feeding. Therefore, declines in seagrass availability may reduce R. taylori presence in nearshore areas and may be relevant to spatial management of this species.

Read more HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the magazine International Aquafeed which is published by Perendale Publishers Ltd.

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