Author(s): Macpherson Enrique
Mortality patterns from peak of settlement to d~spersal from the nursery area, concur- rently with integration of juveniles into adult populations, of 3 llttoral fishes of the genus Diplodus (D. puntazzo. D. sargus, and D. vulgaris) (Family Spalidae) were studied between May 1993 and June 1996. Twenty-one stations were censused weekly, weather conditions permitting, along the Mediter- ranean coasts of Spain, France, and Italy. Eight stations were located in protected areas and 13 in unprotected zones. Declines in abundance in all 3 species were particularly marked in the first month after settlement. Patterns of survivorship indicated that the 3 species were subject to density-depen- dent mortality from settlement to recruitment to the adult population. The effect of this mortality pat- tern was to reduce the variability In year-class strength, though without changing the rank order of abundance between years. The mortal~ty rates for D. sargus were higher than for D, puntazzo and D. vulgans The results of this study indicated that mortality rates in protected areas did not dlffer signif- icantly from those in unprotected zones, suggesting that marme reserves are not necessanly a slnk for post-settlement fishes.