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Migration Ecology of Marine Fishes

, 304 pages

84 line drawings

May 2015



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Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

Migration Ecology of Marine Fishes

Not since F. R. Harden Jones published his masterwork on fish migration in 1968 has a book so thoroughly demystified the subject. With stunning clarity, David Hallock Secor’s Migration Ecology of Fishes finally penetrates the clandestine nature of marine fish migration.

Secor explains how the four decades of research since Jones’s classic have employed digital-age technologies—including electronic miniaturization, computing, microchemistry, ocean observing systems, and telecommunications—that render overt the previously hidden migration behaviors of fish. Emerging from the millions of observed, telemetered, simulated, and chemically traced movement paths is an appreciation of the individual fish. Members of the same populations may stay put, explore, delay, accelerate, evacuate, and change course as they conditionally respond to their marine existence. But rather than a morass of individual behaviors, Secor shows us that populations are collectively organized through partial migration, which causes groups of individuals to embark on very different migration pathways despite being members of the same population.

Case studies throughout the book emphasize how migration ecology confounds current fisheries management. Yet, as Secor explains, conservation frameworks that explicitly consider the influence of migration on yield, stability, and resilience outcomes have the potential to transform fisheries management. A synthetic treatment of all marine fish taxa (teleosts and elasmobranchs), this book employs explanatory frameworks from avian and systems ecology while arguing that migrations are emergent phenomena, structured through schooling, phenotypic plasticity, and other collective agencies.

The book provides overviews of the following concepts:
• The comparative movement ecology of fishes and birds
• The alignment of mating systems with larval dispersal
• Schooling and migration as adaptations to marine food webs
• Natal homing
• Connectivity in populations and metapopulations
• The contribution of migration ecology to population resilience

David H. Secor is a regents professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. In addition to serving as an adviser for the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna, he is an editor of the ICES Journal of Marine Science.

"Secor, in this tour de force synthesis on marine fish migrations, brings together the literature on the history of ideas across a broad disciplinary suite, as well as on the new technologies that have provided remarkable observations on movements of fish in the global oceans. The breadth of coverage enables a nuanced and complex causal framework; which addresses why fish go where they do, and why an understanding of the mechanisms is critical to the management of ocean uses. Migration Ecology of Marine Fishes is an essential read for ecologists of all specialties. It will sit comfortably beside Harden Jones’ Fish Migration."

"This book is far more than a review of fish migration. Secor contemplates ‘migration’ as a complex system of adaptation, woven from the warp of recent theories, models, and hypotheses in various disciplines of ecology, behavior, ichthyology, oceanography, and fisheries science."

"This perceptive book updates and enhances Harden Jones' pioneering concepts on fish migration."

"Those of us who throw a line overboard or off a dock and quiver as some invisible creature teases our bait but curse the water’s opaqueness will revel in this highly scientific textbook that penetrates the murky secrets of the sea."

"Secor's research brings together the history of ideas on fish migration, as well as an analysis of the new technologies that have provided remarkable observations on movements of fish in the global oceans to address why fish go where they do, and why an understanding is critical to the management of ocean uses."

"An up-to-date synthesis of current knowledge of marine fish migrations... Appropriate for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, fisheries professionals, and marine ecologists."

"... Many students of ecology and a wide range of professionals will benefit from the synthesis of ideas and large collection of relevant citations provided in this book."

"David Secor’s book on the migration ecology of marine fishes represents a comprehensive synthesis of the state of the science in this field... Secor reveals the complexities of marine fish migration and provides the reader with an unprecedented window into movement dynamics under the sea."

"[Migration Ecology of Marine Fishes] provided the most comprehensive, creative, current, and ambitious overview of migration literature to date. Secor especially succeeded in finding ways to discuss the mechanisms and ecological consequences of migration in almost every aspect of a fish’s life..."

"... an insightful and comprehensive account... Migration Ecology of Marine Fishes will make a very useful contribution by providing a framework for the broader interpretation of fish migration. This same framework has important implications for the understanding and management of fish population/species productivity, stability and resilience in the face of fishing pressure and environmental change."

"...undoubtedly an outstanding book and I strongly recommend it to all scientists, researchers, and students who are interested in migration and fisheries ecology. I cannot praise it highly enough."

"It deserves to be read by everyone with an interest the ecology of fishes, as well as those studying migratory behaviors in other groups. One comes away from the book with the clear impression that studies focusing on single aspects of fish movements are missing much of the story."

"Those taking the time to read this book slowly and repeatedly will continuously find new insights and be rewarded for their effort."

"The value of Migration Ecology of Marine Fishes is that it provides accessible avenues for researchers that do study fish movement at the individual-level (or from behavioral and physiological perspectives) to consider the emergent properties that arise at the population level... Secor accomplishes what he set out to do, adding several useful new dimensions to the treatise by Harden-Jones."

"This book encapsulates the major advancements of the field, incorporating old and new concepts of migration to the latest technology in studying fish movement... Overall, Migration Ecology of Marine Fishes is an exceptional read for a graduate student or fisheries ecologist. It provides a current review of migration theory—a synthesis that has been long overdue in the marine ecology literature."

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