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Comparative biology of tropical Lethrinus species (Lethrinidae): challenges for multi-species management


Currey, LM and Williams, AJ and Mapstone, BD and Davies, CR and Carlos, G and Welch, DJ and Simpfendorfer, CA and Ballagh, AC and Penny, AL and Grandcourt, EM and Mapleston, A and Wiebkin, AS and Bean, K, Comparative biology of tropical Lethrinus species (Lethrinidae): challenges for multi-species management, Journal of Fish Biology, 82, (3) pp. 764-788. ISSN 0022-1112 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles

DOI: doi:10.1111/jfb.3495


Life-history characteristics of six tropical Lethrinus species sampled from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area were compared. Two species groups were identified based on fork length (LF): large species with maximum LF > 640 mm (longface emperor Lethrinus olivaceus, yellowlip emperor Lethrinus xanthochilus and spangled emperor Lethrinus nebulosus) and small species with maximum LF < 480 mm (Pacific yellowtail emperor Lethrinus atkinsoni, pink ear emperor Lethrinus lentjan and ornate emperor Lethrinus ornatus). Lifespan was not correlated with LF. Early growth for all species was rapid and similar during the first few years of life, but coefficients of the von Bertalanffy growth function varied considerably among species. Growth also differed between sexes for L. atkinsoni. Reproductive characteristics varied among species, with peak periods of spawning occurring in November to December for L. atkinsoni, July to August for L. nebulous, September to October for L. olivaceus and a protracted season for L. lentjan, although fewer samples were available for the last two species. Sex-specific LF and age distributions and gonad histology of L. lentjan were suggestive of a functional protogynous reproductive pattern, as observed in other lethrinids. Gonad histology indicated non-functional protogynous hermaphroditism for L. atkinsoni and L. nebulosus. The diversity of life histories among these closely related species emphasizes the difficulty in devising single management strategies appropriate for multi-species fisheries and illustrates the importance of understanding species-specific life histories to infer responses to exploitation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:exploitation, life history, reef fishes, reproductive biology, tropical fisheries
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal physiological ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Carlos, G (Mr Gary Carlos)
ID Code:116706
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:19
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2017-05-17
Last Modified:2017-10-23

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