Alternate Title

Spatio-Temporal Models of Juvenile and Adult Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus) in Tampa Bay, Florida from 1996 to 2016

Document Type



Spatio-temporal distribution models for juvenile and adult Sheepshead (Archosargus protocephalus) were developed for Tampa Bay, FL using Boosted Regression Trees. Juvenile Sheepshead were primarily associated with month of collection (highest occurrence in May and June), low salinities (<10), and increased distance from a tidal inlet. Adult Sheepshead were more frequently detected closer to inlets in September through November, with an increasing trend through time, and had the highest probability of detection in areas with the highest salinity levels. Our results indicate that juvenile Sheepshead are associated with tidal tributaries on the east side of Tampa Bay and adult Sheepshead are associated with the major inlet into the Gulf of Mexico. These findings reflect seasonal and ontogenetic shifts in distribution that are necessary to inform spatially-based management approaches and to prioritize areas for habitat conservation.

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