Modelling the evolutionary effects of a coastal marine reserve on different ecological guilds of fish

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Marine reserves are used as a management tool to ensure sustainability of fish stocks. Using an individual-based model, we compare the evolutionary effect of a reserve located on a nursery ground, spawning ground, feeding ground, or in a year-round habitat for sedentary species. We model the evolution of life-history traits, specifically size at maturation and site fidelity. Within species, individuals will differ in the time spent within a reserve depending on their patterns of movement and migration. We predict that the evolutionary effect of fishing depends not only on the survival probability but also on the life-history stages primarily affected by high harvest mortality. Protection against evolution to small maturation size is most effective where a reserve protects a sedentary population or protects the feeding grounds of a population. We also find that protection of the feeding ground of an anadromous stock such as Atlantic salmon may lead to local adaptation enhanced by evolution of higher site fidelity, similar to protection of a sedentary species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1369-1380
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the marine biological association of the united kingdom
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011

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