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Marine nurseries and effective juvenile habitats: concepts and application

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 19:54 authored by Dahlgren, CP, Kellison, GT, Adams, AJ, Gillanders, BM, Kendall, MS, Layman, CA, Ley, JA, Nagelkerken, I, Serafy, JE
Much recent attention has been focused on juvenile fish and invertebrate habitat use, particularly defining and identifying marine nurseries. The most significant advancement in this area has been the development of a standardized framework for assessing the relative importance of juvenile habitats and classifying the most productive as nurseries. Within this framework, a marine nursery is defined as a juvenile habitat for a particular species that contributes a greater than average number of individuals to the adult population on a per-unit-area basis, as compared to other habitats used by juveniles. While the nursery definition and framework provides a powerful approach to identifying habitats for conservation and restoration efforts, it can omit habitats that have a small per-unit-area contribution to adult populations, but may be essential for sustaining adult populations. Here we build on the nursery concept by developing a framework for evaluating juvenile habitats based on their overall contribution to adult populations, and introduce the concept of Effective Juvenile Habitat (EJH) to refer to habitats that make a greater than average overall contribution to adult populations. © Inter-Research 2006.


Publication title

Marine Ecology - Progress Series








Australian Maritime College



Place of publication


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)

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    University Of Tasmania