||Grüss, A., Kaplan, D. M., and Robinson, J. Evaluation of the effectiveness of marine reserves for transient spawning aggregations in data-limited situations. â€“ ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst028. Many coral reef fish species form predictable, transient spawning aggregations. Many aggregations are overfished, making them a target for spatial management. Here, we develop a per-recruit model to evaluate the performance of no-take marine reserves protecting transient spawning aggregations. The model consists of only 14 demographic and exploitation-related parameters. We applied the model to a protogynous grouper and a gonochoristic rabbitfish from Seychelles and tested six scenarios regarding the extent of protected areas, the level of fish spawning-site fidelity, and fishing effort redistribution post reserve implementation. Spawning aggregation reserves improve spawning-stock biomass-per-recruit and reduce the sex ratio bias in protogynous populations for all scenarios examined. However, these benefits are often small and vary among the different scenarios and as a function of sexual ontogeny. In all scenarios, increases in yield-per-recruit do not occur or are negligible. The long-term yield increases due to spawning aggregation reserves may still occur, but only if spawning-stock biomass recovery results in a recruitment subsidy. Given these limited benefits, the value of no-take reserves must be weighed against those of other management options, such as fishing effort reduction and seasonal fishery closures. The latter is particularly appropriate when spawning and non-spawning areas overlap in space.