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Moraes L.E.D.S.,National Institute for Space Research | Gherardi D.F.M.,National Institute for Space Research | Gherardi D.F.M.,Center for Environmental Complexity Synthesis | Katsuragawa M.,University of Sao Paulo | And 2 more authors.
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2012

We provide a detailed account of the spatial structure of the Brazilian sardine (Sardinella brasiliensis) spawning and nursery habitats, using ichthyoplankton data from nine surveys (19761993) covering the Southeastern Brazilian Bight (SBB). The spatial variability of sardine eggs and larvae was partitioned into predefined spatial-scale classes (broad scale, 200500 km; medium scale, 50100 km; and local scale, <50 km). The relationship between density distributions at both developmental stages and environmental descriptors (temperature and salinity) was also explored within these spatial scales. Spatial distributions of sardine eggs were mostly structured on medium and local scales, while larvae were characterized by broad- and medium-scale distributions. Broad- and medium-scale surface temperatures were positively correlated with sardine densities, for both developmental stages. Correlations with salinity were predominantly negative and concentrated on a medium scale. Broad-scale structuring might be explained by mesoscale processes, such as pulsing upwelling events and Brazil Current meandering at the northern portion of the SBB, while medium-scale relationships may be associated with local estuarine outflows. The results indicate that processes favouring vertical stability might regulate the spatial extensions of suitable spawning and nursery habitats for the Brazilian sardine. © 2012 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

Vila-Nova D.A.,Federal University of Paraná | Vila-Nova D.A.,Center for Environmental Complexity Synthesis | Ferreira C.E.L.,Federal University of Fluminense | Ferreira C.E.L.,Center for Environmental Complexity Synthesis | And 3 more authors.
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2014

This work presents a new spatial dataset comprising biological information with analytical potential to advance reef conservation, reef fish studies and decision making at multiple levels in Brazil. Here we use reef fish hotspots as a case study to inform mismatches in the current Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) network in Brazil. Currently, MPAs protects only 2% of the Economic Exclusive Zone in Brazil. Both quantity and protection level of MPAs is uneven: while approximately 62% are for sustainable use, numbers and area of no-take MPAs are very small. We report a clear mismatch between MPAs and reef fish hotspots in Brazil, with the northeast coast and the state of Espírito Santo being the most critical areas for conservation actions. However, MPAs can no longer be considered as a 'quick fix' conservation tool, but rather, a very complex ecological/social-political operation. Therefore, MPAs networks should be expanded in these most critical areas (including more no-take zones) within a broader spatial planning to lessen user conflicts. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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