Age and growth of mangrove red snapper Lutjanus argentimaculatus at its cool-water-range limits
Piddocke, TP, Butler, GL, Butcher, PA, Stewart, J, Bucher, DJ & Christidis, L 2015, 'Age and growth of mangrove red snapper Lutjanus argentimaculatus at its cool-water-range limits', Journal of Fish Biology, vol. 86, no. 5, pp. 1587-1600.
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This study investigates the age and growth of Lutjanus argentimaculatus at its southern (cooler) range limits in eastern Australia. Specimens were collected from New South Wales and southern Queensland between November 2011 and December 2013. Fork lengths (LF) ranged from 190 to 1019 mm, and ages ranged from 2+ to 57+ years. Growth was described by the von Bertalanffy growth function with coefficients L∞ = 874·92 mm, K = 0·087 year−1 and t0 = −2·76 years. Estimates of the instantaneous natural mortality rate (M) ranged from 0·072 to 0·25. The LF (mm) and mass (W; g) relationship was represented by the equation: . The maximum age of 57+ years is the oldest reported for any lutjanid and comparisons with tropical studies suggest that the age-based demography of L. argentimaculatus follows a latitudinal gradient. High maximum ages and low natural mortality rates indicate considerable vulnerability to overexploitation at the species' cool-water-range limits. These results demonstrate the need to identify underlying processes driving latitudinal gradients in fish demography.