Individual study: Ontogenetic habitat shifts affect performance of artificial shelters for Caribbean spiny lobsters
Lozano-Álvarez E., Meiners C. & Briones-Fourzán P. (2009) Ontogenetic habitat shifts affect performance of artificial shelters for Caribbean spiny lobsters. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 396, 85-97
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Provide artificial shelters
A replicated study in 1998–2002 of nine plots in a reef lagoon with seagrass meadows in the Caribbean Sea, Mexico (Lozano-Álvarez et al. 2009) found that over the 2.5 years after their deployment, artificial shelters (‘casitas’) were occupied by more and bigger Caribbean spiny lobsters Panulirus argus than natural shelters (crevices). More lobsters were found occupying artificial shelters (3.5–5.5 on average; 3,707 in total) than crevices (1–1.6 on average; 200 in total). In addition, artificial shelters hosted larger lobsters (30–32 mm carapace length) than crevices (17–18 mm). Ten ‘casitas’ (1.1 m2, 3.8 cm diameter entrance) were deployed in each of five plots (1 ha) (≤5 m depth) in July 1998. On 22 occasions after deployment (September 1998–November 2002), divers counted and visually estimated the carapace length of all lobsters inside all artificial shelters and inside all naturally occurring shelters (crevices) in each plot.