WorldWideScience

Sample records for reef fish assemblages

  1. Relationships between structural complexity, coral traits, and reef fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darling, Emily S.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Januchowski-Hartley, Fraser A.; Nash, Kirsty L.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Wilson, Shaun K.

    2017-06-01

    With the ongoing loss of coral cover and the associated flattening of reef architecture, understanding the links between coral habitat and reef fishes is of critical importance. Here, we investigate whether considering coral traits and functional diversity provides new insights into the relationship between structural complexity and reef fish communities, and whether coral traits and community composition can predict structural complexity. Across 157 sites in Seychelles, Maldives, the Chagos Archipelago, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef, we find that structural complexity and reef zone are the strongest and most consistent predictors of reef fish abundance, biomass, species richness, and trophic structure. However, coral traits, diversity, and life histories provided additional predictive power for models of reef fish assemblages, and were key drivers of structural complexity. Our findings highlight that reef complexity relies on living corals—with different traits and life histories—continuing to build carbonate skeletons, and that these nuanced relationships between coral assemblages and habitat complexity can affect the structure of reef fish assemblages. Seascape-level estimates of structural complexity are rapid and cost effective with important implications for the structure and function of fish assemblages, and should be incorporated into monitoring programs.

  2. Patterns in reef fish assemblages: Insights from the Chagos Archipelago.

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    Samoilys, Melita; Roche, Ronan; Koldewey, Heather; Turner, John

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of variability in the composition of fish assemblages across the Indo-Pacific region is crucial to support coral reef ecosystem resilience. Whilst numerous relationships and feedback mechanisms between the functional roles of coral reef fishes and reef benthic composition have been investigated, certain key groups, such as the herbivores, are widely suggested to maintain reefs in a coral-dominated state. Examining links between fishes and reef benthos is complicated by the interactions between natural processes, disturbance events and anthropogenic impacts, particularly fishing pressure. This study examined fish assemblages and associated benthic variables across five atolls within the Chagos Archipelago, where fishing pressure is largely absent, to better understand these relationships. We found high variability in fish assemblages among atolls and sites across the archipelago, especially for key groups such as a suite of grazer-detritivore surgeonfish, and the parrotfishes which varied in density over 40-fold between sites. Differences in fish assemblages were significantly associated with variable levels of both live and recently dead coral cover and rugosity. We suggest these results reflect differing coral recovery trajectories following coral bleaching events and a strong influence of 'bottom-up' control mechanisms on fish assemblages. Species level analyses revealed that Scarus niger, Acanthurus nigrofuscus and Chlorurus strongylocephalos were key species driving differences in fish assemblage structure. Clarifying the trophic roles of herbivorous and detritivorous reef fishes will require species-level studies, which also examine feeding behaviour, to fully understand their contribution in maintaining reef resilience to climate change and fishing impacts.

  3. Patterns in reef fish assemblages: Insights from the Chagos Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche, Ronan; Koldewey, Heather; Turner, John

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of variability in the composition of fish assemblages across the Indo-Pacific region is crucial to support coral reef ecosystem resilience. Whilst numerous relationships and feedback mechanisms between the functional roles of coral reef fishes and reef benthic composition have been investigated, certain key groups, such as the herbivores, are widely suggested to maintain reefs in a coral-dominated state. Examining links between fishes and reef benthos is complicated by the interactions between natural processes, disturbance events and anthropogenic impacts, particularly fishing pressure. This study examined fish assemblages and associated benthic variables across five atolls within the Chagos Archipelago, where fishing pressure is largely absent, to better understand these relationships. We found high variability in fish assemblages among atolls and sites across the archipelago, especially for key groups such as a suite of grazer-detritivore surgeonfish, and the parrotfishes which varied in density over 40-fold between sites. Differences in fish assemblages were significantly associated with variable levels of both live and recently dead coral cover and rugosity. We suggest these results reflect differing coral recovery trajectories following coral bleaching events and a strong influence of ‘bottom-up’ control mechanisms on fish assemblages. Species level analyses revealed that Scarus niger, Acanthurus nigrofuscus and Chlorurus strongylocephalos were key species driving differences in fish assemblage structure. Clarifying the trophic roles of herbivorous and detritivorous reef fishes will require species-level studies, which also examine feeding behaviour, to fully understand their contribution in maintaining reef resilience to climate change and fishing impacts. PMID:29351566

  4. Influence of landscape structure on reef fish assemblages

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    Grober-Dunsmore, R.; Frazer, T.K.; Beets, J.P.; Lindberg, W.J.; Zwick, P.; Funicelli, N.A.

    2008-01-01

    Management of tropical marine environments calls for interdisciplinary studies and innovative methodologies that consider processes occurring over broad spatial scales. We investigated relationships between landscape structure and reef fish assemblage structure in the US Virgin Islands. Measures of landscape structure were transformed into a reduced set of composite indices using principal component analyses (PCA) to synthesize data on the spatial patterning of the landscape structure of the study reefs. However, composite indices (e.g., habitat diversity) were not particularly informative for predicting reef fish assemblage structure. Rather, relationships were interpreted more easily when functional groups of fishes were related to individual habitat features. In particular, multiple reef fish parameters were strongly associated with reef context. Fishes responded to benthic habitat structure at multiple spatial scales, with various groups of fishes each correlated to a unique suite of variables. Accordingly, future experiments should be designed to test functional relationships based on the ecology of the organisms of interest. Our study demonstrates that landscape-scale habitat features influence reef fish communities, illustrating promise in applying a landscape ecology approach to better understand factors that structure coral reef ecosystems. Furthermore, our findings may prove useful in design of spatially-based conservation approaches such as marine protected areas (MPAs), because landscape-scale metrics may serve as proxies for areas with high species diversity and abundance within the coral reef landscape. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  5. Mass coral bleaching causes biotic homogenization of reef fish assemblages.

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    Richardson, Laura E; Graham, Nicholas A J; Pratchett, Morgan S; Eurich, Jacob G; Hoey, Andrew S

    2018-04-06

    Global climate change is altering community composition across many ecosystems due to nonrandom species turnover, typically characterized by the loss of specialist species and increasing similarity of biological communities across spatial scales. As anthropogenic disturbances continue to alter species composition globally, there is a growing need to identify how species responses influence the establishment of distinct assemblages, such that management actions may be appropriately assigned. Here, we use trait-based analyses to compare temporal changes in five complementary indices of reef fish assemblage structure among six taxonomically distinct coral reef habitats exposed to a system-wide thermal stress event. Our results revealed increased taxonomic and functional similarity of previously distinct reef fish assemblages following mass coral bleaching, with changes characterized by subtle, but significant, shifts toward predominance of small-bodied, algal-farming habitat generalists. Furthermore, while the taxonomic or functional richness of fish assemblages did not change across all habitats, an increase in functional originality indicated an overall loss of functional redundancy. We also found that prebleaching coral composition better predicted changes in fish assemblage structure than the magnitude of coral loss. These results emphasize how measures of alpha diversity can mask important changes in the structure and functioning of ecosystems as assemblages reorganize. Our findings also highlight the role of coral species composition in structuring communities and influencing the diversity of responses of reef fishes to disturbance. As new coral species configurations emerge, their desirability will hinge upon the composition of associated species and their capacity to maintain key ecological processes in spite of ongoing disturbances. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Reef fish and coral assemblages at Maptaput, Rayong Province

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    Voravit Cheevaporn

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the structure of coral and fish assemblages of a group of small islands and pinnacles in the vicinity of Maptaput deep sea port, Rayong Province, Thailand during 2002. The coral and fish assemblages at Saket Island and nearby pinnacle, Hin-Yai, which are located less than 1 km from the deep sea port, had changed. Living coral cover in 2002 was 8% at Hin-Yai and 4% at Saket Island which decreased from 33% and 64%, respectively in the previous report in 1992. Numbers of coral species at Saket Island decreased from 41 species to 13 species. Acropora spp. that previously dominated the area had nearly disappeared. For fishes, a total of 40 species were found in 2002 the numbers decreased to only 6 species at Saket Island and 36 species at Hin-Yai. Fishes that dominated the area are small pomacentrids. After 1997, the conditions of coral and fish assemblages at Saket Island and Hin-Yai had markedly changed, whereas, the conditions found in the nearby area are much better. Sediment load from port construction was the primary cause of the degradation. This should indicate the adverse effect of sedimentation on coral and reef fish assemblages at Maptaput. Coral communities developed on rock pinnacles west of Maptaput deep-sea port are reported and described herein for the first time.

  7. Fish assemblages on fringing reefs in the southern Caribbean: biodiversity, biomass and feeding types

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    Jahson B. Alemu I.

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Reef fish assemblages in the Caribbean are under increasing pressure from human activities. Inadequate enforcement of legislation coupled with unreliable and data-poor landings in Tobago have led to the unregulated exploitation of reef fish for decades. This study addresses the lack of data on major reefs. Visual observations of fish fauna were conducted from November 2011-May 2013 at open access reef sites (Speyside, Charlotteville, Culloden, Arnos Vale, Mt. Irvine, La Guira, Kilgwyn, Plymouth and Black Rock and one protected area (Buccoo Reef Marine Park. Belt transects surveys were used to determine fish density, species diversity and abundance at the 10-15m depth contour. Fish sizes were converted to biomass using the length-weight relationship of fish W=aLb. Most fish assemblages were dominated by small herbivores (40cm e.g. Serranidae, were noted, which is indicative of fishing pressure. MDS ordination identified three fish assemblages: i northeastern, ii southwestern and iii intermediate. The northwestern cluster (Speyside and Charlotteville were most representative of reef fish assemblages across the entire island, and exhibited the highest species richness, diversity and biomass. However, the southwestern cluster the highest numerical abundance. The marine protected area contained higher fish biomass, abundance, diversity and richness, but it was only representative of reef fish assemblages on the southwest of the island and not the entire Tobago. Research on the reef fishery, particularly spear fishing, is recommended to determine impact.

  8. Coral reef fish assemblages at Clipperton Atoll (Eastern Tropical Pacific and their relationship with coral cover

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    Aurora M. Ricart

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Clipperton Atoll, one of the most isolated coral reefs worldwide, is of great scientific interest due to its geomorphology and high levels of endemism. This study explored the reef fish assemblage structure of Clipperton Atoll and its relationship with live coral cover. Nine stations were sampled at three sites and three depths (6, 12 and 20 m around the reef, measuring fish species richness and biomass and hermatypic coral cover (at genus level. We evaluated variation in species richness, biomass and diversity of fish assemblages among sites and depths, as well as the relationship between the entire fish assemblage composition and live coral cover. The results showed that species richness and biomass were similar among sites, but differed across depths, increasing with depth. In contrast, diversity differed among sites but not among depths. Multivariate analyses indicated that fish assemblage composition differed among sites and depths in relation to changes in cover of coral of the genera Pocillopora, Porites, Pavona and Leptoseris, which dominate at different depths. The results showed that fish species richness and diversity were low at Clipperton Atoll and that, in isolated coral reefs with a low habitat heterogeneity and low human disturbance, live coral cover has a significant influence on the spatial variation of the reef fish assemblages. This study highlights the importance of coral habitat structure in shaping coral reef fish assemblages.

  9. Reef fishes of Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles: assemblage structure across a gradient of habitat types.

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    Wes Toller

    Full Text Available Saba Bank is a 2,200 km(2 submerged carbonate platform in the northeastern Caribbean Sea off Saba Island, Netherlands Antilles. The presence of reef-like geomorphic features and significant shelf edge coral development on Saba Bank have led to the conclusion that it is an actively growing, though wholly submerged, coral reef atoll. However, little information exists on the composition of benthic communities or associated reef fish assemblages of Saba Bank. We selected a 40 km(2 area of the bank for an exploratory study. Habitat and reef fish assemblages were investigated in five shallow-water benthic habitat types that form a gradient from Saba Bank shelf edge to lagoon. Significant coral cover was restricted to fore reef habitat (average cover 11.5% and outer reef flat habitat (2.4% and declined to near zero in habitats of the central lagoon zone. Macroalgae dominated benthic cover in all habitats (average cover: 32.5--48.1% but dominant algal genera differed among habitats. A total of 97 fish species were recorded. The composition of Saba Bank fish assemblages differed among habitat types. Highest fish density and diversity occurred in the outer reef flat, fore reef and inner reef flat habitats. Biomass estimates for commercially valued species in the reef zone (fore reef and reef flat habitats ranged between 52 and 83 g/m(2. The composition of Saba Bank fish assemblages reflects the absence of important nursery habitats, as well as the effects of past fishing. The relatively high abundance of large predatory fish (i.e. groupers and sharks, which is generally considered an indicator of good ecosystem health for tropical reef systems, shows that an intact trophic network is still present on Saba Bank.

  10. Coral reef fish assemblages along a disturbance gradient in the northern Persian Gulf: A seasonal perspective.

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    Ghazilou, Amir; Shokri, Mohammad Reza; Gladstone, William

    2016-04-30

    Seasonal dynamics of coral reef fish assemblages were assessed along a gradient of potential anthropogenic disturbance in the Northern Persian Gulf. Overall, the attributes of coral reef fish assemblages showed seasonality at two different levels: seasonal changes irrespective of the magnitude of disturbance level (e.g. species richness), and seasonal changes in response to disturbance level (e.g. total abundance and assemblage composition). The examined parameters mostly belonged to the second group, but the interpretation of the relationship between patterns of seasonal changes and the disturbance level was not straightforward. The abundance of carnivorous fishes did not vary among seasons. SIMPER identified the family Nemipteridae as the major contributor to the observed spatiotemporal variations in the composition of coral reef fish assemblages in the study area. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The influence of coral reef benthic condition on associated fish assemblages.

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    Karen M Chong-Seng

    Full Text Available Accumulative disturbances can erode a coral reef's resilience, often leading to replacement of scleractinian corals by macroalgae or other non-coral organisms. These degraded reef systems have been mostly described based on changes in the composition of the reef benthos, and there is little understanding of how such changes are influenced by, and in turn influence, other components of the reef ecosystem. This study investigated the spatial variation in benthic communities on fringing reefs around the inner Seychelles islands. Specifically, relationships between benthic composition and the underlying substrata, as well as the associated fish assemblages were assessed. High variability in benthic composition was found among reefs, with a gradient from high coral cover (up to 58% and high structural complexity to high macroalgae cover (up to 95% and low structural complexity at the extremes. This gradient was associated with declining species richness of fishes, reduced diversity of fish functional groups, and lower abundance of corallivorous fishes. There were no reciprocal increases in herbivorous fish abundances, and relationships with other fish functional groups and total fish abundance were weak. Reefs grouping at the extremes of complex coral habitats or low-complexity macroalgal habitats displayed markedly different fish communities, with only two species of benthic invertebrate feeding fishes in greater abundance in the macroalgal habitat. These results have negative implications for the continuation of many coral reef ecosystem processes and services if more reefs shift to extreme degraded conditions dominated by macroalgae.

  12. Seasonal variability of rocky reef fish assemblages: Detecting functional and structural changes due to fishing effects

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    Henriques, Sofia; Pais, Miguel Pessanha; Costa, Maria José; Cabral, Henrique Nogueira

    2013-05-01

    The present study analyzed the effects of seasonal variation on the stability of fish-based metrics and their capability to detect changes in fish assemblages, which is yet poorly understood despite the general idea that guilds are more resilient to natural variability than species abundances. Three zones subject to different levels of fishing pressure inside the Arrábida Marine Protected Area (MPA) were sampled seasonally. The results showed differences between warm (summer and autumn) and cold (winter and spring) seasons, with the autumn clearly standing out. In general, the values of the metrics density of juveniles, density of invertebrate feeders and density of omnivores increased in warm seasons, which can be attributed to differences in recruitment patterns, spawning migrations and feeding activity among seasons. The density of generalist/opportunistic individuals was sensitive to the effect of fishing, with higher values at zones with the lowest level of protection, while the density of individuals with high commercial value only responded to fishing in the autumn, due to a cumulative result of both juveniles and adults abundances during this season. Overall, this study showed that seasonal variability affects structural and functional features of the fish assemblage and that might influence the detection of changes as a result of anthropogenic pressures. The choice of a specific season, during warm sea conditions after the spawning period (July-October), seems to be more adequate to assess changes on rocky-reef fish assemblages.

  13. Environmental factors affecting large-bodied coral reef fish assemblages in the Mariana Archipelago.

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    Benjamin L Richards

    Full Text Available Large-bodied reef fishes represent an economically and ecologically important segment of the coral reef fish assemblage. Many of these individuals supply the bulk of the reproductive output for their population and have a disproportionate effect on their environment (e.g. as apex predators or bioeroding herbivores. Large-bodied reef fishes also tend to be at greatest risk of overfishing, and their loss can result in a myriad of either cascading (direct or indirect trophic and other effects. While many studies have investigated habitat characteristics affecting populations of small-bodied reef fishes, few have explored the relationship between large-bodied species and their environment. Here, we describe the distribution of the large-bodied reef fishes in the Mariana Archipelago with an emphasis on the environmental factors associated with their distribution. Of the factors considered in this study, a negative association with human population density showed the highest relative influence on the distribution of large-bodied reef fishes; however, depth, water temperature, and distance to deep water also were important. These findings provide new information on the ecology of large-bodied reef fishes can inform discussions concerning essential fish habitat and ecosystem-based management for these species and highlight important knowledge gaps worthy of additional research.

  14. Differential response of fish assemblages to coral reef-based seaweed farming.

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    E James Hehre

    Full Text Available As the global demand for seaweed-derived products drives the expansion of seaweed farming onto shallow coral ecosystems, the effects of farms on fish assemblages remain largely unexplored. Shallow coral reefs provide food and shelter for highly diverse fish assemblages but are increasingly modified by anthropogenic activities. We hypothesized that the introduction of seaweed farms into degraded shallow coral reefs had potential to generate ecological benefits for fish by adding structural complexity and a possible food source. We conducted 210 transects at 14 locations, with sampling stratified across seaweed farms and sites adjacent to and distant from farms. At a seascape scale, locations were classified by their level of exposure to human disturbance. We compared sites where (1 marine protected areas (MPAs were established, (2 neither MPAs nor blast fishing was present (hence "unprotected", and (3 blast fishing occurred. We observed 80,186 fish representing 148 species from 38 families. The negative effects of seaweed farms on fish assemblages appeared stronger in the absence of blast fishing and were strongest when MPAs were present, likely reflecting the positive influence of the MPAs on fish within them. Species differentiating fish assemblages with respect to seaweed farming and disturbance were typically small but also included two key target species. The propensity for seaweed farms to increase fish diversity, abundance, and biomass is limited and may reduce MPA benefits. We suggest that careful consideration be given to the placement of seaweed farms relative to MPAs.

  15. Differential response of fish assemblages to coral reef-based seaweed farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hehre, E James; Meeuwig, J J

    2015-01-01

    As the global demand for seaweed-derived products drives the expansion of seaweed farming onto shallow coral ecosystems, the effects of farms on fish assemblages remain largely unexplored. Shallow coral reefs provide food and shelter for highly diverse fish assemblages but are increasingly modified by anthropogenic activities. We hypothesized that the introduction of seaweed farms into degraded shallow coral reefs had potential to generate ecological benefits for fish by adding structural complexity and a possible food source. We conducted 210 transects at 14 locations, with sampling stratified across seaweed farms and sites adjacent to and distant from farms. At a seascape scale, locations were classified by their level of exposure to human disturbance. We compared sites where (1) marine protected areas (MPAs) were established, (2) neither MPAs nor blast fishing was present (hence "unprotected"), and (3) blast fishing occurred. We observed 80,186 fish representing 148 species from 38 families. The negative effects of seaweed farms on fish assemblages appeared stronger in the absence of blast fishing and were strongest when MPAs were present, likely reflecting the positive influence of the MPAs on fish within them. Species differentiating fish assemblages with respect to seaweed farming and disturbance were typically small but also included two key target species. The propensity for seaweed farms to increase fish diversity, abundance, and biomass is limited and may reduce MPA benefits. We suggest that careful consideration be given to the placement of seaweed farms relative to MPAs.

  16. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages

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    Ruttenberg, B.I.; Hamilton, S.L.; Walsh, S.M.; Donovan, M.K.; Friedlander, A.; DeMartini, E.; Sala, E.; Sandin, S.A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ~10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. ?? 2011 Ruttenberg et al.

  17. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages.

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    Benjamin I Ruttenberg

    Full Text Available In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ∼10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management.

  18. Baselines and Comparison of Coral Reef Fish Assemblages in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Kattan, Alexander

    2014-12-01

    In order to properly assess human impacts and appropriate restoration goals, baselines of pristine conditions on coral reefs are required. In Saudi Arabian waters of the central Red Sea, widespread and heavy fishing pressure has been ongoing for decades. To evaluate this influence, we surveyed the assemblage of offshore reef fishes in both this region as well as those of remote and largely unfished southern Sudan. At comparable latitudes, of similar oceanographic influence, and hosting the same array of species, the offshore reefs of southern Sudan provided an ideal location for comparison. We found that top predators (jacks, large snappers, groupers, and others) dominated the reef fish community biomass in Sudan’s deep south region, resulting in an inverted (top-heavy) biomass pyramid. In contrast, the Red Sea reefs of central Saudi Arabia exhibited the typical bottom-heavy pyramid and show evidence for trophic cascades in the form of mesopredator release. Biomass values from Sudan’s deep south are quite similar to those previously reported in the remote and uninhabited Northwest Hawaiian Islands, northern Line Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and other remote Pacific islands and atolls. The findings of this study suggest that heavy fishing pressure has significantly altered the fish community structure of Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs. The results point towards the urgent need for enhanced regulation and enforcement of fishing practices in Saudi Arabia while simultaneously making a strong case for protection in the form of marine protected areas in the southern Sudanese Red Sea.

  19. Small Marine Protected Areas in Fiji Provide Refuge for Reef Fish Assemblages, Feeding Groups, and Corals

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    Pires, Mathias M.; Guimarães, Paulo Roberto; Hoey, Andrew S.; Hay, Mark E.

    2017-01-01

    The establishment of no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) on coral reefs is a common management strategy for conserving the diversity, abundance, and biomass of reef organisms. Generally, well-managed and enforced MPAs can increase or maintain the diversity and function of the enclosed coral reef, with some of the benefits extending to adjacent non-protected reefs. A fundamental question in coral reef conservation is whether these benefits arise within small MPAs (fish assemblages, composition of fish feeding groups, benthic cover, and key ecosystem processes (grazing, macroalgal browsing, and coral replenishment) in three small (0.5–0.8 km2) no-take MPAs and adjacent areas where fisheries are allowed (non-MPAs) on coral reefs in Fiji. The MPAs exhibited greater species richness, density, and biomass of fishes than non-MPAs. Furthermore, MPAs contained a greater abundance and biomass of grazing herbivores and piscivores as well as a greater abundance of cleaners than fished areas. We also found differences in fish associations when foraging, with feeding groups being generally more diverse and having greater biomass within MPAs than adjacent non-MPAs. Grazing by parrotfishes was 3–6 times greater, and macroalgal browsing was 3–5 times greater in MPAs than in non-MPAs. On average, MPAs had 260–280% as much coral cover and only 5–25% as much macroalgal cover as their paired non-MPA sites. Finally, two of the three MPAs had three-fold more coral recruits than adjacent non-MPAs. The results of this study indicate that small MPAs benefit not only populations of reef fishes, but also enhance ecosystem processes that are critical to reef resilience within the MPAs. PMID:28122006

  20. Bait effects in sampling coral reef fish assemblages with stereo-BRUVs.

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    Dorman, Stacey R; Harvey, Euan S; Newman, Stephen J

    2012-01-01

    Baited underwater video techniques are increasingly being utilised for assessing and monitoring demersal fishes because they are: 1) non extractive, 2) can be used to sample across multiple habitats and depths, 3) are cost effective, 4) sample a broader range of species than many other techniques, 5) and with greater statistical power. However, an examination of the literature demonstrates that a range of different bait types are being used. The use of different types of bait can create an additional source of variability in sampling programs. Coral reef fish assemblages at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, were sampled using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems. One-hour stereo-video recordings were collected for four different bait treatments (pilchards, cat food, falafel mix and no bait (control)) from sites inside and outside a targeted fishery closure (TFC). In total, 5209 individuals from 132 fish species belonging to 41 families were recorded. There were significant differences in the fish assemblage structure and composition between baited and non-baited treatments (Pcat food and pilchards contained similar ingredients and were found to record similar components of the fish assemblage. There were no significant differences in the fish assemblages in areas open or closed to fishing, regardless of the bait used. Investigation of five targeted species indicated that the response to different types of bait was species-specific. For example, the relative abundance of Pagrus auratus was found to increase in areas protected from fishing, but only in samples baited with pilchards and cat food. The results indicate that the use of bait in conjunction with stereo-BRUVs is advantageous. On balance, the use of pilchards as a standardised bait for stereo-BRUVs deployments is justified for use along the mid-west coast of Western Australia.

  1. Bait effects in sampling coral reef fish assemblages with stereo-BRUVs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey R Dorman

    Full Text Available Baited underwater video techniques are increasingly being utilised for assessing and monitoring demersal fishes because they are: 1 non extractive, 2 can be used to sample across multiple habitats and depths, 3 are cost effective, 4 sample a broader range of species than many other techniques, 5 and with greater statistical power. However, an examination of the literature demonstrates that a range of different bait types are being used. The use of different types of bait can create an additional source of variability in sampling programs. Coral reef fish assemblages at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, were sampled using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems. One-hour stereo-video recordings were collected for four different bait treatments (pilchards, cat food, falafel mix and no bait (control from sites inside and outside a targeted fishery closure (TFC. In total, 5209 individuals from 132 fish species belonging to 41 families were recorded. There were significant differences in the fish assemblage structure and composition between baited and non-baited treatments (P<0.001, while no difference was observed with species richness. Samples baited with cat food and pilchards contained similar ingredients and were found to record similar components of the fish assemblage. There were no significant differences in the fish assemblages in areas open or closed to fishing, regardless of the bait used. Investigation of five targeted species indicated that the response to different types of bait was species-specific. For example, the relative abundance of Pagrus auratus was found to increase in areas protected from fishing, but only in samples baited with pilchards and cat food. The results indicate that the use of bait in conjunction with stereo-BRUVs is advantageous. On balance, the use of pilchards as a standardised bait for stereo-BRUVs deployments is justified for use along the mid-west coast of Western Australia.

  2. Long-term monitoring of coral reef fish assemblages in the Western central pacific.

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    Heenan, Adel; Williams, Ivor D; Acoba, Tomoko; DesRochers, Annette; Kosaki, Randall K; Kanemura, Troy; Nadon, Marc O; Brainard, Russell E

    2017-12-05

    Throughout the tropics, coral reef ecosystems, which are critically important to people, have been greatly altered by humans. Differentiating human impacts from natural drivers of ecosystem state is essential to effective management. Here we present a dataset from a large-scale monitoring program that surveys coral reef fish assemblages and habitats encompassing the bulk of the US-affiliated tropical Pacific, and spanning wide gradients in both natural drivers and human impact. Currently, this includes >5,500 surveys from 39 islands and atolls in Hawaii (including the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands) and affiliated geo-political regions of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Pacific Remote Islands Areas. The dataset spans 2010-2017, during which time, each region was visited at least every three years, and ~500-1,000 surveys performed annually. This standardised dataset is a powerful resource that can be used to understand how human, environmental and oceanographic conditions influence coral reef fish community structure and function, providing a basis for research to support effective management outcomes.

  3. The differentiation of common species in a coral-reef fish assemblage for recreational scuba diving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tsen-Chien; Ho, Cheng-Tze; Jan, Rong-Quen

    2016-01-01

    Recreational scuba diving is a popular activity of the coral reef tourism industry. In practice, local diving centers recommend interesting sites to help visiting divers make their plans. Fish are among the major attractions, but they need to be listed with care because the temporal occurrence of a fish species is difficult to predict. To address this issue, we propose methods to categorize each fish species based on its long-term occurrence and likelihood of being seen. We assume that there are K categories of occurrence of a fish assemblage and propose two methods [an arithmetic-mean method (AM) and a geometric-mean method (GM)] to define the range of species in each category. Experiments based on long term datasets collected at three underwater stations (each having 51-53 surveys and totals of 262-284 fish species) on coral reefs in southern Taiwan showed that when K = 4 (rare, occasional, frequent and common categories), 11-14 species were concurrently assigned to the common category by AM for data sets based on surveys 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, or 51-53 in contrast to the 18-26 species assigned as common by GM. If a similarity index of 0.7 (compared to the total pool of fish species) was the minimum threshold for diver satisfaction, then 20-25 surveys provide sufficient data for listing the common species at a given dive spot. Common fish species, are the most temporally stable, and thus are more appropriate for attracting divers. These can be effectively differentiated by either AM or GM with at least 25 surveys. We suggest regular updating of each fish's category through periodic surveys to assure the accuracy of information at a particular dive spot.

  4. Fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGarvey, Daniel J.; Falke, Jeffrey A.; Li, Hiram W.; Li, Judith; Hauer, F. Richard; Lamberti, G.A.

    2017-01-01

    Methods to sample fishes in stream ecosystems and to analyze the raw data, focusing primarily on assemblage-level (all fish species combined) analyses, are presented in this chapter. We begin with guidance on sample site selection, permitting for fish collection, and information-gathering steps to be completed prior to conducting fieldwork. Basic sampling methods (visual surveying, electrofishing, and seining) are presented with specific instructions for estimating population sizes via visual, capture-recapture, and depletion surveys, in addition to new guidance on environmental DNA (eDNA) methods. Steps to process fish specimens in the field including the use of anesthesia and preservation of whole specimens or tissue samples (for genetic or stable isotope analysis) are also presented. Data analysis methods include characterization of size-structure within populations, estimation of species richness and diversity, and application of fish functional traits. We conclude with three advanced topics in assemblage-level analysis: multidimensional scaling (MDS), ecological networks, and loop analysis.

  5. The differentiation of common species in a coral-reef fish assemblage for recreational scuba diving

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Tsen-Chien; Ho, Cheng-Tze; Jan, Rong-Quen

    2016-01-01

    Background Recreational scuba diving is a popular activity of the coral reef tourism industry. In practice, local diving centers recommend interesting sites to help visiting divers make their plans. Fish are among the major attractions, but they need to be listed with care because the temporal occurrence of a fish species is difficult to predict. To address this issue, we propose methods to categorize each fish species based on its long-term occurrence and likelihood of being seen. Methods We...

  6. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.; Hoey, A.S.; Wilson, S.K.; Messmer, V.; Graham, N.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  7. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  8. Effects of tourist visitation and supplementary feeding on fish assemblage composition on a tropical reef in the Southwestern Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Di Iulio Ilarri

    Full Text Available The effects of tourist visitation and food provisioning on fish assemblages were assessed by visual censuses (stationary technique carried out in a tropical reef in Northeastern Brazil. Comparisons of species abundance, richness, equitability, and trophic structure in the presence (PT and absence (AT of tourists suggest that tourist visitation and supplementary food influenced the structure of the fish assemblage, as follows: (a diversity, equitability and species richness were significantly higher on the AT period, while the abundance of a particular species was significantly higher during PT; (b trophic structure differed between the AT and PT periods, omnivores being more abundant during the latter period, while mobile invertivores, piscivores, roving herbivores and territorial herbivores were significantly more abundant on AT. Reef tourism is increasingly being regarded as an alternative to generate income for human coastal communities in the tropics. Therefore, closer examination of the consequences of the various components of this activity to reef system is a necessary step to assist conservation and management initiatives.

  9. Monitoring of the artificial reef fish assemblages of golfe juan marine protected area (France, North-Western Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bodilis Pascaline

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Artificial reefs were deployed within the Golfe-Juan marine protected area (Alpes-Maritimes coast, France, Northwestern Mediterranean created in 1981. This no-take area is fully protected since its establishment, except in 2004 when some anthropic activities were, exceptionally, authorized. Moreover, no park rangers to prevent poaching since 2002 occur. In order to carry out a long term monitoring of the artificial reef fish assemblages, underwater visual censuses (UVC were carried out in 1988, 1998 and 2008, according to a traditional standardized visual census method that taken into account all fish species. The complexification of some large reefs built with wide voide spaces called Bonna reefs appear to be a good solution to increase species richness and density. Species richness and density of the fish assemblages showed significant increase between 1988 and 1998. However the fast increasing was stopped from 1998 and 2008 probably due to a lack of law enforcement and poaching. Despite artificial reefs were deployed in MPA since at least 20 years, they did not show a real positive impact on fish assemblages. These results could be explained (i by a lack of law enforcement patrol within the protected areas during the last decade, and (ii by the one-year opening to fishing activities within MPA. The real effectiveness of the artificial reefs in sustaining fish assemblages is discussed and the necessity of a regular and efficient control by park rangers is highlighted.Recifes artificiais foram implantados na área protegida Golfe-Juan (costa dos Alpes-Maritimes, Noroeste do Mediterraneo criada em 1981. Esta área NTZ (Area de Restrição da Pesca é inteiramente protegida, desde seu estabelecimento, exceto em 2004, quando algumas atividades antropicas foram excepcionalmente autorizadas. Além disso, desde 2002, não houve nenhuma patrulha florestal para impedir a caça e pesca ilegais. . A fim realizar um monitoramento a longo prazo das assembl

  10. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  11. Spatio-Temporal Patterns in the Coral Reef Communities of the Spermonde Archipelago, 2012–2014, II: Fish Assemblages Display Structured Variation Related to Benthic Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremiah G. Plass-Johnson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The Spermonde Archipelago is a complex of ~70 mostly populated islands off Southwest Sulawesi, Indonesia, in the center of the Coral Triangle. The reefs in this area are exposed to a high level of anthropogenic disturbances. Previous studies have shown that variation in the benthos is strongly linked to water quality and distance from the mainland. However, little is known about the fish assemblages of the region and if their community structure also follows a relationship with benthic structure and distance from shore. In this study, we used eight islands of the archipelago, varying in distance from 1 to 55 km relative to the mainland, and 3 years of surveys, to describe benthic and fish assemblages and to examine the spatial and temporal influence of benthic composition on the structure of the fish assemblages. Cluster analysis indicated that distinct groups of fish were associated with distance, while few species were present across the entire range of sites. Relating fish communities to benthic composition using a multivariate generalized linear model confirmed that fish groups relate to structural complexity (rugosity or differing benthic groups; either algae, reef builders (coral and crustose coralline algae or invertebrates and rubble. From these relationships we can identify sets of fish species that may be lost given continued degradation of the Spermonde reefs. Lastly, the incorporation of water quality, benthic and fish indices indicates that local coral reefs responded positively after an acute disturbance in 2013 with increases in reef builders and fish diversity over relatively short (1 year time frames. This study contributes an important, missing component (fish community structure to the growing literature on the Spermonde Archipelago, a system that features environmental pressures common in the greater Southeast Asian region.

  12. Recovery of a temperate reef assemblage in a marine protected area following the exclusion of towed demersal fishing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma V Sheehan

    Full Text Available Marine Protected Areas MPA have been widely used over the last 2 decades to address human impacts on marine habitats within an ecosystem management context. Few studies have quantified recovery of temperate rocky reef communities following the cessation of scallop dredging or demersal trawling. This is critical information for the future management of these habitats to contribute towards conservation and fisheries targets. The Lyme Bay MPA, in south west UK, has excluded towed demersal fishing gear from 206 km(2 of sensitive reef habitat using a Statutory Instrument since July 2008. To assess benthic recovery in this MPA we used a flying video array to survey macro epi-benthos annually from 2008 to 2011. 4 treatments (the New Closure, previously voluntarily Closed Controls and Near or Far Open to fishing Controls were sampled to test a recovery hypothesis that was defined as 'the New Closure becoming more similar to the Closed Controls and less similar to the Open Controls'. Following the cessation of towed demersal fishing, within three years positive responses were observed for species richness, total abundance, assemblage composition and seven of 13 indicator taxa. Definitive evidence of recovery was noted for species richness and three of the indicator taxa (Pentapora fascialis, Phallusia mammillata and Pecten maximus. While it is hoped that MPAs, which exclude anthropogenic disturbance, will allow functional restoration of goods and services provided by benthic communities, it is an unknown for temperate reef systems. Establishing the likely timescales for restoration is key to future marine management. We demonstrate the early stages of successful recruitment and link these to the potential wider ecosystem benefits including those to commercial fisheries.

  13. Recovery of a temperate reef assemblage in a marine protected area following the exclusion of towed demersal fishing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, Emma V; Stevens, Timothy F; Gall, Sarah C; Cousens, Sophie L; Attrill, Martin J

    2013-01-01

    Marine Protected Areas MPA have been widely used over the last 2 decades to address human impacts on marine habitats within an ecosystem management context. Few studies have quantified recovery of temperate rocky reef communities following the cessation of scallop dredging or demersal trawling. This is critical information for the future management of these habitats to contribute towards conservation and fisheries targets. The Lyme Bay MPA, in south west UK, has excluded towed demersal fishing gear from 206 km(2) of sensitive reef habitat using a Statutory Instrument since July 2008. To assess benthic recovery in this MPA we used a flying video array to survey macro epi-benthos annually from 2008 to 2011. 4 treatments (the New Closure, previously voluntarily Closed Controls and Near or Far Open to fishing Controls) were sampled to test a recovery hypothesis that was defined as 'the New Closure becoming more similar to the Closed Controls and less similar to the Open Controls'. Following the cessation of towed demersal fishing, within three years positive responses were observed for species richness, total abundance, assemblage composition and seven of 13 indicator taxa. Definitive evidence of recovery was noted for species richness and three of the indicator taxa (Pentapora fascialis, Phallusia mammillata and Pecten maximus). While it is hoped that MPAs, which exclude anthropogenic disturbance, will allow functional restoration of goods and services provided by benthic communities, it is an unknown for temperate reef systems. Establishing the likely timescales for restoration is key to future marine management. We demonstrate the early stages of successful recruitment and link these to the potential wider ecosystem benefits including those to commercial fisheries.

  14. Fish assemblage of the Mamanguape Environmental Protection Area, NE Brazil: abundance, composition and microhabitat availability along the mangrove-reef gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josias Henrique de Amorim Xavier

    Full Text Available Reefs, mangroves and seagrass biotopes often occur in close association, forming a complex and highly productive ecosystem that provide significant ecologic and economic goods and services. Different anthropogenic disturbances are increasingly affecting these tropical coastal habitats leading to growing conservation concern. In this field-based study, we used a visual census technique (belt transects 50 m x 2 m to investigate the interactions between fishes and microhabitats at the Mamanguape Mangrove-Reef system, NE Brazil. Overall, 144 belt transects were performed from October 2007 to September 2008 to assess the structure of the fish assemblage. Fish trophic groups and life stage (juveniles and adults were recorded according to literature, the percent cover of the substrate was estimated using the point contact method. Our results revealed that fish composition gradually changed from the Estuarine to the Reef zone, and that fish assemblage was strongly related to the microhabitat availability, as suggested by the predominance of carnivores at the Estuarine zone and presence of herbivores at the Reef zone. Fish abundance and diversity were higher in the Reef zone and estuary margins, highlighting the importance of structural complexity. A pattern of nursery area utilization, with larger specimens at the Transition and Reef Zone and smaller individuals at the Estuarine zone, was recorded for Abudefduf saxatilis, Anisotremus surinamensis, Lutjanus alexandrei, and Lutjanus jocu. Our findings clearly suggests ecosystem connectivity between mangrove, seagrass and reef biotopes, and highlighted the importance of Mamanguape Mangrove-Reef System as a priority area for conservation and research, whose habitat mosaics should be further studied and protected.

  15. Reef fishes of Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles: assemblage structure across a gradient of habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toller, W.; Debrot, A.O.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Hoetjes, P.C.

    2010-01-01

    Saba Bank is a 2,200 km2 submerged carbonate platform in the northeastern Caribbean Sea off Saba Island, Netherlands Antilles. The presence of reef-like geomorphic features and significant shelf edge coral development on Saba Bank have led to the conclusion that it is an actively growing, though

  16. Reef fishes of Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles : Assemblage structure across a gradient of habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toller, W.; Debrot, A.O.; Vermeij, M.; Hoetjes, P.C.

    2010-01-01

    Saba Bank is a 2,200 km2 submerged carbonate platform in the northeastern Caribbean Sea off Saba Island, Netherlands Antilles. The presence of reef-like geomorphic features and significant shelf edge coral development on Saba Bank have led to the conclusion that it is an actively growing, though

  17. Say what? Coral reef sounds as indicators of community assemblages and reef conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, T. A.; Kaplan, M. B.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs host some of the highest diversity of life on the planet. Unfortunately, reef health and biodiversity is declining or is threatened as a result of climate change and human influences. Tracking these changes is necessary for effective resource management, yet estimating marine biodiversity and tracking trends in ecosystem health is a challenging and expensive task, especially in many pristine reefs which are remote and difficult to access. Many fishes, mammals and invertebrates make sound. These sounds are reflective of a number of vital biological processes and are a cue for settling reef larvae. Biological sounds may be a means to quantify ecosystem health and biodiversity, however the relationship between coral reef soundscapes and the actual taxa present remains largely unknown. This study presents a comparative evaluation of the soundscape of multiple reefs, naturally differing in benthic cover and fish diversity, in the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park. Using multiple recorders per reef we characterized spacio-temporal variation in biological sound production within and among reefs. Analyses of sounds recorded over 4 summer months indicated diel trends in both fish and snapping shrimp acoustic frequency bands with crepuscular peaks at all reefs. There were small but statistically significant acoustic differences among sites on a given reef raising the possibility of potentially localized acoustic habitats. The strength of diel trends in lower, fish-frequency bands were correlated with coral cover and fish density, yet no such relationship was found with shrimp sounds suggesting that fish sounds may be of higher relevance to tracking certain coral reef conditions. These findings indicate that, in spite of considerable variability within reef soundscapes, diel trends in low-frequency sound production reflect reef community assemblages. Further, monitoring soundscapes may be an efficient means of establishing and monitoring reef conditions.

  18. Habitat specialization in tropical continental shelf demersal fish assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben M Fitzpatrick

    Full Text Available The implications of shallow water impacts such as fishing and climate change on fish assemblages are generally considered in isolation from the distribution and abundance of these fish assemblages in adjacent deeper waters. We investigate the abundance and length of demersal fish assemblages across a section of tropical continental shelf at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to identify fish and fish habitat relationships across steep gradients in depth and in different benthic habitat types. The assemblage composition of demersal fish were assessed from baited remote underwater stereo-video samples (n = 304 collected from 16 depth and habitat combinations. Samples were collected across a depth range poorly represented in the literature from the fringing reef lagoon (1-10 m depth, down the fore reef slope to the reef base (10-30 m depth then across the adjacent continental shelf (30-110 m depth. Multivariate analyses showed that there were distinctive fish assemblages and different sized fish were associated with each habitat/depth category. Species richness, MaxN and diversity declined with depth, while average length and trophic level increased. The assemblage structure, diversity, size and trophic structure of demersal fishes changes from shallow inshore habitats to deeper water habitats. More habitat specialists (unique species per habitat/depth category were associated with the reef slope and reef base than other habitats, but offshore sponge-dominated habitats and inshore coral-dominated reef also supported unique species. This suggests that marine protected areas in shallow coral-dominated reef habitats may not adequately protect those species whose depth distribution extends beyond shallow habitats, or other significant elements of demersal fish biodiversity. The ontogenetic habitat partitioning which is characteristic of many species, suggests that to maintain entire species life histories it is necessary to protect corridors of

  19. Dynamics of fish assemblages on a continuous rocky reef and adjacent unconsolidated habitats at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, tropical western Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo R. Medeiros

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, many studies investigated how density-dependent factors, such as shortages in microhabitat and food availability influence the structure of reef fish assemblages. Most of what is currently known, however, comes from comparisons of isolated patch reefs and from correlations between fish abundance and one or few microhabitat variables. In addition, most studies were done in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific regions, whereas the South Atlantic region has been, to date, understudied. The present study evaluated spatial and temporal variations in reef fish abundance and species richness in a continuous rocky reef and adjacent unconsolidated habitats in a Southwestern Atlantic reef, using underwater techniques to assess both fish numbers and microhabitat variables (depth, rugosity, number of crevices and percent cover of live benthic organisms, bare rock, sand, and limestone. Higher species richness was observed at consolidated substratum stations on both sampling periods (May and October, but fish abundance did not show a significant spatial variation. Topographical complexity and percent cover of algae (except coralline algae were amongst the most important determinants of species richness, and correlations between fish size and refuge crevice size were observed. The non-random patterns of spatial variation in species richness, and to a lesser extent, fish abundance, were related to differences in substratum characteristics and the inherent characteristics of fishes (i.e. habitat preferences and not to geographical barriers restraining fish movement. This study highlights the importance of concomitantly assessing several microhabitat variables to determine their relative influence in reef fish assemblages.Em anos recentes, vários estudos investigaram como os fatores dependentes da densidade, por exemplo, a diminuição na disponibilidade de microhabitats e alimento, influenciam a estrutura das assembleias de peixes. A maior parte do

  20. Fish survey data from Uva Island reef, Panama

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project examines an eastern Pacific fish assemblage associated with a 2.5 hectare coral reef located within the boundaries of Coiba National Park, Panama. From...

  1. Spatio-temporal patterns in the coral reef communities of the Spermonde Archipelago, 2012–2014, II: Fish assemblages display structured variation related to benthic condition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah Grahm; Teichberg, Mirta; Bednarz, Vanessa N.

    2018-01-01

    The Spermonde Archipelago is a complex of ~70 mostly populated islands off Southwest Sulawesi, Indonesia, in the center of the Coral Triangle. The reefs in this area are exposed to a high level of anthropogenic disturbances. Previous studies have shown that variation in the benthos is strongly...... with distance, while few species were present across the entire range of sites. Relating fish communities to benthic composition using a multivariate generalized linear model confirmed that fish groups relate to structural complexity (rugosity) or differing benthic groups; either algae, reef builders (coral...... and crustose coralline algae) or invertebrates and rubble. From these relationships we can identify sets of fish species that may be lost given continued degradation of the Spermonde reefs. Lastly, the incorporation of water quality, benthic and fish indices indicates that local coral reefs responded...

  2. Habitat segregation in fish assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Ibbotson, A.T.

    1990-01-01

    The segregation of habitats of fish assemblages found in the chalk streams and rivers within the Wessex, South West and Southern Water Authority boundaries in southern England have been examined. Habitat segregation is the most frequent type of resource partitioning in natural communities. The habitat of individual fish species will be defined in order to determine the following: (1) the requirements of each species in terms of depth, current velocity, substrate, cover etc.; (2) identify the ...

  3. Habitats as surrogates of taxonomic and functional fish assemblages in coral reef ecosystems: a critical analysis of factors driving effectiveness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Van Wynsberge

    Full Text Available Species check-lists are helpful to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs and protect local richness, endemicity, rarity, and biodiversity in general. However, such exhaustive taxonomic lists (i.e., true surrogate of biodiversity require extensive and expensive censuses, and the use of estimator surrogates (e.g., habitats is an appealing alternative. In truth, surrogate effectiveness appears from the literature highly variable both in marine and terrestrial ecosystems, making it difficult to provide practical recommendations for managers. Here, we evaluate how the biodiversity reference data set and its inherent bias can influence effectiveness. Specifically, we defined habitats by geomorphology, rugosity, and benthic cover and architecture criteria, and mapped them with satellite images for a New-Caledonian site. Fish taxonomic and functional lists were elaborated from Underwater Visual Censuses, stratified according to geomorphology and exposure. We then tested if MPA networks designed to maximize habitat richness, diversity and rarity could also effectively maximize fish richness, diversity, and rarity. Effectiveness appeared highly sensitive to the fish census design itself, in relation to the type of habitat map used and the scale of analysis. Spatial distribution of habitats (estimator surrogate's distribution, quantity and location of fish census stations (target surrogate's sampling, and random processes in the MPA design all affected effectiveness to the point that one small change in the data set could lead to opposite conclusions. We suggest that previous conclusions on surrogacy effectiveness, either positive or negative, marine or terrestrial, should be considered with caution, except in instances where very dense data sets were used without pseudo-replication. Although this does not rule out the validity of using surrogates of species lists for conservation planning, the critical joint examination of both target and estimator

  4. Global warming transforms coral reef assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Terry P; Kerry, James T; Baird, Andrew H; Connolly, Sean R; Dietzel, Andreas; Eakin, C Mark; Heron, Scott F; Hoey, Andrew S; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Liu, Gang; McWilliam, Michael J; Pears, Rachel J; Pratchett, Morgan S; Skirving, William J; Stella, Jessica S; Torda, Gergely

    2018-04-01

    Global warming is rapidly emerging as a universal threat to ecological integrity and function, highlighting the urgent need for a better understanding of the impact of heat exposure on the resilience of ecosystems and the people who depend on them 1 . Here we show that in the aftermath of the record-breaking marine heatwave on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 2 , corals began to die immediately on reefs where the accumulated heat exposure exceeded a critical threshold of degree heating weeks, which was 3-4 °C-weeks. After eight months, an exposure of 6 °C-weeks or more drove an unprecedented, regional-scale shift in the composition of coral assemblages, reflecting markedly divergent responses to heat stress by different taxa. Fast-growing staghorn and tabular corals suffered a catastrophic die-off, transforming the three-dimensionality and ecological functioning of 29% of the 3,863 reefs comprising the world's largest coral reef system. Our study bridges the gap between the theory and practice of assessing the risk of ecosystem collapse, under the emerging framework for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Ecosystems 3 , by rigorously defining both the initial and collapsed states, identifying the major driver of change, and establishing quantitative collapse thresholds. The increasing prevalence of post-bleaching mass mortality of corals represents a radical shift in the disturbance regimes of tropical reefs, both adding to and far exceeding the influence of recurrent cyclones and other local pulse events, presenting a fundamental challenge to the long-term future of these iconic ecosystems.

  5. Testing the effect of habitat structure and complexity on nekton assemblages using experimental oyster reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Austin T.; LaPeyre, Megan K.; Kimball, Matthew E.; Rozas, Lawrence P.

    2011-01-01

    Structurally complex habitats are often associated with more diverse and abundant species assemblages in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Biogenic reefs formed by the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) are complex in nature and are recognized for their potential habitat value in estuarine systems along the US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Few studies, however, have examined the response of nekton to structural complexity within oyster reefs. We used a quantitative sampling technique to examine how the presence and complexity of experimental oyster reefs influence the abundance, biomass, and distribution of nekton by sampling reefs 4 months and 16 months post-construction. Experimental oyster reefs were colonized immediately by resident fishes and decapod crustaceans, and reefs supported a distinct nekton assemblage compared to mud-bottom habitat. Neither increased reef complexity, nor age of the experimental reef resulted in further changes in nekton assemblages or increases in nekton abundance or diversity. The presence of oyster reefs per se was the most important factor determining nekton usage.

  6. Tortugas Reef Fish Census (CRCP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is a long term data set collecting visual census transect data on reef fishes at staions located at Rileys Hump, Tortugas South Ecological Reservee.

  7. The relative importance of regional, local, and evolutionary factors structuring cryptobenthic coral-reef assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadia, Gabby N.; Tornabene, Luke; Smith, David J.; Pezold, Frank L.

    2018-03-01

    Factors shaping coral-reef fish species assemblages can operate over a wide range of spatial scales (local versus regional) and across both proximate and evolutionary time. Niche theory and neutral theory provide frameworks for testing assumptions and generating insights about the importance of local versus regional processes. Niche theory postulates that species assemblages are an outcome of evolutionary processes at regional scales followed by local-scale interactions, whereas neutral theory presumes that species assemblages are formed by largely random processes drawing from regional species pools. Indo-Pacific cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes are highly evolved, ecologically diverse, temporally responsive, and situated on a natural longitudinal diversity gradient, making them an ideal group for testing predictions from niche and neutral theories and effects of regional and local processes on species assemblages. Using a combination of ecological metrics (fish density, diversity, assemblage composition) and evolutionary analyses (testing for phylogenetic niche conservatism), we demonstrate that the structure of cryptobenthic fish assemblages can be explained by a mixture of regional factors, such as the size of regional species pools and broad-scale barriers to gene flow/drivers of speciation, coupled with local-scale factors, such as the relative abundance of specific microhabitat types. Furthermore, species of cryptobenthic fishes have distinct microhabitat associations that drive significant differences in assemblage community structure between microhabitat types, and these distinct microhabitat associations are phylogenetically conserved over evolutionary timescales. The implied differential fitness of cryptobenthic fishes across varied microhabitats and the conserved nature of their ecology are consistent with predictions from niche theory. Neutral theory predictions may still hold true for early life-history stages, where stochastic factors may be more

  8. Social interactions among grazing reef fish drive material flux in a coral reef ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Michael A; Hein, Andrew M

    2017-05-02

    In human financial and social systems, exchanges of information among individuals cause speculative bubbles, behavioral cascades, and other correlated actions that profoundly influence system-level function. Exchanges of information are also widespread in ecological systems, but their effects on ecosystem-level processes are largely unknown. Herbivory is a critical ecological process in coral reefs, where diverse assemblages of fish maintain reef health by controlling the abundance of algae. Here, we show that social interactions have a major effect on fish grazing rates in a reef ecosystem. We combined a system for observing and manipulating large foraging areas in a coral reef with a class of dynamical decision-making models to reveal that reef fish use information about the density and actions of nearby fish to decide when to feed on algae and when to flee foraging areas. This "behavioral coupling" causes bursts of feeding activity that account for up to 68% of the fish community's consumption of algae. Moreover, correlations in fish behavior induce a feedback, whereby each fish spends less time feeding when fewer fish are present, suggesting that reducing fish stocks may not only reduce total algal consumption but could decrease the amount of algae each remaining fish consumes. Our results demonstrate that social interactions among consumers can have a dominant effect on the flux of energy and materials through ecosystems, and our methodology paves the way for rigorous in situ measurements of the behavioral rules that underlie ecological rates in other natural systems.

  9. Impact of Iron Baron oil spill on subtidal reef assemblages in Tasmania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edgara, Graham J.; Barrett, Neville S.

    2000-01-01

    The biological impact of the grounding of the bulk carrier Iron Baron on Hebe Reef in northern Tasmania, with release of approximately 350 tonnes of Bunker C fuel oil, was assessed using quantitative underwater censuses at numerous reef sites before and after the spill. Physical abrasion of the ship's hull during ground caused the complete destruction of the subtidal reef community within a localised area of ∼170 m by ∼20 m on Hebe Reef. However, the release of fuel oil did not appear to have substantially affected populations of subtidal reef-associated organisms in the near vicinity. Analyses of changes over time outside the hull impact area of oiled sites before and after the spill, and comparisons with undisturbed reference sites, indicated no significant change in number of species on reefs or densities of the most abundant animal and plant species. Post-impact monitoring of the grounding zone in adjacent reference sites on Hebe Reef indicated that the fish assemblages associated with the hull scar recovered rapidly in terms of species composition and species richness within one year, whereas plant and invertebrate assemblages had not reached inferred pre-disturbance levels after two years. Wave disturbance appeared to be hindering re-establishment of large macroalgae over part of the abrasion zone where the reef substrata had been converted to unstable gravels. (Author)

  10. Biscayne National Park study on reef fish community changes over time

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish assemblage structure was assessed in 20062007 (recent period) in Biscayne National Park, Florida, USA , and compared with data collected from 1977 to 1981...

  11. Fish survey data from Uva Island reef, Panama collected between 1980 and 2010 (NCEI Accession 0157563)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data contains an eastern Pacific fish assemblage associated with a 2.5 hectare coral reef located within the boundaries of Coiba National Park, Panama. From...

  12. Benthic foraminifera baseline assemblages from a coastal nearshore reef complex on the central Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jamie; Perry, Chris; Smithers, Scott; Morgan, Kyle

    2016-04-01

    Declining water quality due to river catchment modification since European settlement (c. 1850 A.D.) represents a major threat to the health of coral reefs on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), particularly for those located in the coastal waters of the GBR's inner-shelf. These nearshore reefs are widely perceived to be most susceptible to declining water quality owing to their close proximity to river point sources. Despite this, nearshore reefs have been relatively poorly studied with the impacts and magnitudes of environmental degradation still remaining unclear. This is largely due to ongoing debates concerning the significance of increased sediment yields against naturally high background sedimentary regimes. Benthic foraminifera are increasingly used as tools for monitoring environmental and ecological change on coral reefs. On the GBR, the majority of studies have focussed on the spatial distributions of contemporary benthic foraminiferal assemblages. While baseline assemblages from other environments (e.g. inshore reefs and mangroves) have been described, very few records exist for nearshore reefs. Here, we present preliminary results from the first palaeoecological study of foraminiferal assemblages of nearshore reefs on the central GBR. Cores were recovered from the nearshore reef complex at Paluma Shoals using percussion techniques. Recovery was 100%, capturing the entire Holocene reef sequence of the selected reef structures. Radiocarbon dating and subsequent age-depth modelling techniques were used to identify reef sequences pre-dating European settlement. Benthic foraminifera assemblages were reconstructed from the identified sequences to establish pre-European ecological baselines with the aim of providing a record of foraminiferal distribution during vertical reef accretion and against which contemporary ecological change may be assessed.

  13. Coral Reefs at the Northernmost Tip of Borneo: An Assessment of Scleractinian Species Richness Patterns and Benthic Reef Assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waheed, Zarinah; van Mil, Harald G J; Syed Hussein, Muhammad Ali; Jumin, Robecca; Golam Ahad, Bobita; Hoeksema, Bert W

    2015-01-01

    The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39), Agariciidae (n = 30) and Euphylliidae (n = 15). The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51%) and good (38%). Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park.

  14. Coral Reefs at the Northernmost Tip of Borneo: An Assessment of Scleractinian Species Richness Patterns and Benthic Reef Assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarinah Waheed

    Full Text Available The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39, Agariciidae (n = 30 and Euphylliidae (n = 15. The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51% and good (38%. Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park.

  15. Coral Reefs at the Northernmost Tip of Borneo: An Assessment of Scleractinian Species Richness Patterns and Benthic Reef Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waheed, Zarinah; van Mil, Harald G. J.; Syed Hussein, Muhammad Ali; Jumin, Robecca; Golam Ahad, Bobita; Hoeksema, Bert W.

    2015-01-01

    The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39), Agariciidae (n = 30) and Euphylliidae (n = 15). The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51%) and good (38%). Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park. PMID:26719987

  16. Structure of Caribbean coral reef communities across a large gradient of fish biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Marah J H; Paredes, Gustavo A; Sala, Enric; Jackson, Jeremy B C

    2006-11-01

    The collapse of Caribbean coral reefs has been attributed in part to historic overfishing, but whether fish assemblages can recover and how such recovery might affect the benthic reef community has not been tested across appropriate scales. We surveyed the biomass of reef communities across a range in fish abundance from 14 to 593 g m(-2), a gradient exceeding that of any previously reported for coral reefs. Increased fish biomass was correlated with an increased proportion of apex predators, which were abundant only inside large marine reserves. Increased herbivorous fish biomass was correlated with a decrease in fleshy algal biomass but corals have not yet recovered.

  17. Fishing-gear restrictions and biomass gains for coral reef fishes in marine protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Stuart J; Edgar, Graham J; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Soler, German; Bates, Amanda E

    2018-04-01

    Considerable empirical evidence supports recovery of reef fish populations with fishery closures. In countries where full exclusion of people from fishing may be perceived as inequitable, fishing-gear restrictions on nonselective and destructive gears may offer socially relevant management alternatives to build recovery of fish biomass. Even so, few researchers have statistically compared the responses of tropical reef fisheries to alternative management strategies. We tested for the effects of fishery closures and fishing gear restrictions on tropical reef fish biomass at the community and family level. We conducted 1,396 underwater surveys at 617 unique sites across a spatial hierarchy within 22 global marine ecoregions that represented 5 realms. We compared total biomass across local fish assemblages and among 20 families of reef fishes inside marine protected areas (MPAs) with different fishing restrictions: no-take, hook-and-line fishing only, several fishing gears allowed, and sites open to all fishing gears. We included a further category representing remote sites, where fishing pressure is low. As expected, full fishery closures, (i.e., no-take zones) most benefited community- and family-level fish biomass in comparison with restrictions on fishing gears and openly fished sites. Although biomass responses to fishery closures were highly variable across families, some fishery targets (e.g., Carcharhinidae and Lutjanidae) responded positively to multiple restrictions on fishing gears (i.e., where gears other than hook and line were not permitted). Remoteness also positively affected the response of community-level fish biomass and many fish families. Our findings provide strong support for the role of fishing restrictions in building recovery of fish biomass and indicate important interactions among fishing-gear types that affect biomass of a diverse set of reef fish families. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Fishing down the largest coral reef fish species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenner, Douglas

    2014-07-15

    Studies on remote, uninhabited, near-pristine reefs have revealed surprisingly large populations of large reef fish. Locations such as the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, northern Marianas Islands, Line Islands, U.S. remote Pacific Islands, Cocos-Keeling Atoll and Chagos archipelago have much higher reef fish biomass than islands and reefs near people. Much of the high biomass of most remote reef fish communities lies in the largest species, such as sharks, bumphead parrots, giant trevally, and humphead wrasse. Some, such as sharks and giant trevally, are apex predators, but others such as bumphead parrots and humphead wrasse, are not. At many locations, decreases in large reef fish species have been attributed to fishing. Fishing is well known to remove the largest fish first, and a quantitative measure of vulnerability to fishing indicates that large reef fish species are much more vulnerable to fishing than small fish. The removal of large reef fish by fishing parallels the extinction of terrestrial megafauna by early humans. However large reef fish have great value for various ecological roles and for reef tourism. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Transport of Calcareous Fragments by Reef Fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardach, J E

    1961-01-13

    The weight of sand, coral scrapings, algal fragments, and other calcareous materials which pass through the intestines of reef fishes was calculated on a hectare-per-year basis. It was found that browsing omnivorous reef fishes which rely, in part, on a plant diet ingested and redeposited at least 2300 kg of such material on a 1-hectare study reef near Bermuda. Reasons are presented why this estimate, certainly in order of magnitude, should be applicable to coral reefs in general.

  20. Diet and trophic organization of the fish assemblage from the Mamanguape River Estuary, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Medeiros, Aline Paiva Morais de; Xavier, Josias Henrique de Amorim; Rosa, Ierecê Maria de Lucena

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The present work aims to characterize a fish assemblage from a northeastern Brazilian estuary according to its diet and trophic organization along the estuarine-reef gradient. Sampling was performed at the Mamanguape Estuary, and fishes were collected using three types of nets at seventeen sites, grouped into four regions according to salinity range: reefs and the lower, middle, and upper estuary. The most abundant species were Atherinella brasiliensis, Mugil curema, and Sphoeroides ...

  1. Reef fish communities in the central Red Sea show evidence of asymmetrical fishing pressure

    KAUST Repository

    Kattan, Alexander; Coker, Darren James; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    In order to assess human impacts and develop rational restoration goals for corals reefs, baseline estimates of fish communities are required. In Saudi Arabian waters of the Red Sea, widespread unregulated fishing is thought to have been ongoing for decades, but there is little direct evidence of the impact on reef communities. To contextualize this human influence, reef-associated fish assemblages on offshore reefs in Saudi Arabia and Sudan in the central Red Sea were investigated. These reefs have comparable benthic environments, experience similar oceanographic influences, and are separated by less than 300 km, offering an ideal comparison for identifying potential anthropogenic impacts such as fishing pressure. This is the first study to assess reef fish biomass in both these regions, providing important baselines estimates. We found that biomass of top predators on offshore Sudanese reefs was on average almost three times that measured on comparable reefs in Saudi Arabia. Biomass values from some of the most remote reefs surveyed in Sudan’s far southern region even approach those previously reported in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, northern Line Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and other isolated Pacific islands and atolls. The findings suggest that fishing pressure has significantly altered the fish community structure of Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs, most conspicuously in the form of top predator removal. The results point towards the urgent need for enhanced regulation and enforcement of fishing practices in Saudi Arabia, while making a strong case for protection in the form of no-take marine protected areas to maintain preservation of the relatively intact southern Sudanese Red Sea.

  2. Reef fish communities in the central Red Sea show evidence of asymmetrical fishing pressure

    KAUST Repository

    Kattan, Alexander

    2017-03-09

    In order to assess human impacts and develop rational restoration goals for corals reefs, baseline estimates of fish communities are required. In Saudi Arabian waters of the Red Sea, widespread unregulated fishing is thought to have been ongoing for decades, but there is little direct evidence of the impact on reef communities. To contextualize this human influence, reef-associated fish assemblages on offshore reefs in Saudi Arabia and Sudan in the central Red Sea were investigated. These reefs have comparable benthic environments, experience similar oceanographic influences, and are separated by less than 300 km, offering an ideal comparison for identifying potential anthropogenic impacts such as fishing pressure. This is the first study to assess reef fish biomass in both these regions, providing important baselines estimates. We found that biomass of top predators on offshore Sudanese reefs was on average almost three times that measured on comparable reefs in Saudi Arabia. Biomass values from some of the most remote reefs surveyed in Sudan’s far southern region even approach those previously reported in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, northern Line Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and other isolated Pacific islands and atolls. The findings suggest that fishing pressure has significantly altered the fish community structure of Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs, most conspicuously in the form of top predator removal. The results point towards the urgent need for enhanced regulation and enforcement of fishing practices in Saudi Arabia, while making a strong case for protection in the form of no-take marine protected areas to maintain preservation of the relatively intact southern Sudanese Red Sea.

  3. Hierarchical drivers of reef-fish metacommunity structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNeil, M Aaron; Graham, Nicholas A J; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Kulbicki, Michel; Galzin, René; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Rushton, Steven P

    2009-01-01

    Coral reefs are highly complex ecological systems, where multiple processes interact across scales in space and time to create assemblages of exceptionally high biodiversity. Despite the increasing frequency of hierarchically structured sampling programs used in coral-reef science, little progress has been made in quantifying the relative importance of processes operating across multiple scales. The vast majority of reef studies are conducted, or at least analyzed, at a single spatial scale, ignoring the implicitly hierarchical structure of the overall system in favor of small-scale experiments or large-scale observations. Here we demonstrate how alpha (mean local number of species), beta diversity (degree of species dissimilarity among local sites), and gamma diversity (overall species richness) vary with spatial scale, and using a hierarchical, information-theoretic approach, we evaluate the relative importance of site-, reef-, and atoll-level processes driving the fish metacommunity structure among 10 atolls in French Polynesia. Process-based models, representing well-established hypotheses about drivers of reef-fish community structure, were assembled into a candidate set of 12 hierarchical linear models. Variation in fish abundance, biomass, and species richness were unevenly distributed among transect, reef, and atoll levels, establishing the relative contribution of variation at these spatial scales to the structure of the metacommunity. Reef-fish biomass, species richness, and the abundance of most functional-groups corresponded primarily with transect-level habitat diversity and atoll-lagoon size, whereas detritivore and grazer abundances were largely correlated with potential covariates of larval dispersal. Our findings show that (1) within-transect and among-atoll factors primarily drive the relationship between alpha and gamma diversity in this reef-fish metacommunity; (2) habitat is the primary correlate with reef-fish metacommunity structure at

  4. The ecology, behaviour and physiology of fishes on coral reef flats, and the potential impacts of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, A R

    2013-09-01

    Reef flats, typically a low-relief carbonate and sand habitat in shallow water leeward of the reef crest, are one of the most extensive zones on Pacific coral reefs. This shallow zone often supports an abundant and diverse fish assemblage that is exposed to more significant variations in physical factors, such as water depth and movement, temperature and ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels, than most other reef fishes. This review examines the characteristics of reef flat fish assemblages, and then investigates what is known about how they respond to their biophysical environment. Because of the challenges of living in shallow, wave-exposed water, reef flats typically support a distinct fish assemblage compared to other reef habitats. This assemblage clearly changes across tidal cycles as some larger species migrate to deeper water at low tide and other species modify their behaviour, but quantitative data are generally lacking. At least some reef flat fish species are well-adapted to high temperatures, low oxygen concentrations and high levels of UV radiation. These behavioural and physiological adaptations suggest that there may be differences in the demographic processes between reef flat assemblages and those in deeper water. Indeed, there is some evidence that reef flats may act as nurseries for some species, but more research is required. Further studies are also required to predict the effects of climate change, which is likely to have multifaceted impacts on reef flats by increasing temperature, water motion and sediment load. Sea-level rise may also affect reef flat fish assemblages and food webs by increasing the amount of time that larger species are able to forage in this zone. The lack of data on reef flats is surprising given their size and relative ease of access, and a better understanding of their functional role within tropical marine seascapes is urgently required. © 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  5. Microhabitat influence on larval fish assemblages within ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    We examined larval and juvenile fish assemblage structure in relation to microhabitat variables within the St. Louis River estuary, a drowned river mouth of Lake Superior. Fish were sampled in vegetated beds throughout the estuary, across a gradient of vegetation types and densities (including disturbed, preserved and post-restoration sites). Canonical correspondence analysis, relating species abundances to environmental variables revealed that plant species richness, turbidity and aquatic plant cover were most influential in structuring assemblages. Results from this microhabitat analysis at this crucial life stage has potential to inform wetland restoration efforts within the St. Louis River and other Great Lake coastal wetlands. not applicable

  6. Fouling assemblages associated with estuarine artificial reefs in new South Wales, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Mckenzie

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies examining the dynamics of succession on artificial reefs have predominantly focussed on fish communities and largely ignored the role of fouling assemblages in explaining the patterns of community structure associated with artificial reefs. The objective of this study was to record the development of epibiotic assemblages on three "design specific" (Reef Ball® estuarine artificial reefs systems located in Lake Macquarie, Botany Bay and St Georges Basin in New South Wales, Australia. Recruitment to the artificial reefs was relatively rapid with the majority of taxa identified over the two-year study period observed within the first year post-deployment. The artificial reefs in Lake Macquarie and St Georges Basin were characterised by low diversity with four and nine taxa recorded respectively in contrast to the sixteen taxa observed on the Botany Bay reefs. Results indicated no significant differences in percentage cover of taxa among reefs in either St Georges Basin or Lake Macquarie. In contrast, comparisons between individual Botany Bay reefs identified significant differences in the percentage cover of species between artificial reefs. Analysis of assemblage structure with reef age indicated discrete patterns among estuaries with an overall reduction in the percentage cover of filamentous turfing algae (FTA identified for all reef systems with an increase in reef age. Variations in environmental and physical conditions (turbidity, water flow, wave action and proximity to naturally occurring reef may have contributed to the observed differences in fouling assemblages between estuaries and between artificial reefs within Botany Bay.Estudos prévios que examinaram a dinâmica de sucessão em recifes artificiais foram focalizados nas comunidades de peixes, e sempre ignoraram o papel exercido pelos organismos incrustantes sobre a estruturação das comunidades associadas aos recifes artificiais. O presente estudo tem por objetivo

  7. Effect of Recreational Fish Feeding on Reef Fish Community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... that the reaction to bread at feeding sites was quicker than at control sites, which indicates that some species learn to feed on this novel source of food. Keywords:human-animal interactions, reef fish, recreational fish feeding, tourism impacts, MPAs, coral reefs, Kenya West Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science Vol.

  8. Extinction vulnerability of coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Nicholas A J; Chabanet, Pascale; Evans, Richard D; Jennings, Simon; Letourneur, Yves; Aaron Macneil, M; McClanahan, Tim R; Ohman, Marcus C; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Wilson, Shaun K

    2011-04-01

    With rapidly increasing rates of contemporary extinction, predicting extinction vulnerability and identifying how multiple stressors drive non-random species loss have become key challenges in ecology. These assessments are crucial for avoiding the loss of key functional groups that sustain ecosystem processes and services. We developed a novel predictive framework of species extinction vulnerability and applied it to coral reef fishes. Although relatively few coral reef fishes are at risk of global extinction from climate disturbances, a negative convex relationship between fish species locally vulnerable to climate change vs. fisheries exploitation indicates that the entire community is vulnerable on the many reefs where both stressors co-occur. Fishes involved in maintaining key ecosystem functions are more at risk from fishing than climate disturbances. This finding is encouraging as local and regional commitment to fisheries management action can maintain reef ecosystem functions pending progress towards the more complex global problem of stabilizing the climate. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  9. Neogene reef coral assemblages of the Bocas del Toro region, Panama: the rise of Acropora palmata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, J. S.; McNeill, D. F.; Budd, A. F.; Coates, A. G.

    2012-03-01

    Temporal patterns are evaluated in Neogene reef coral assemblages from the Bocas del Toro Basin of Panama in order to understand how reef ecosystems respond to long-term environmental change. Analyses are based on a total of 1,702 zooxanthellate coral specimens collected from six coral-bearing units ranging in age from the earliest Late Miocene to the Early Pleistocene: (1) Valiente Formation (12-11 Ma), (2) Fish Hole Member of the Old Bank Formation (5.8-5.6 Ma), (3) La Gruta Member of the Isla Colon Formation (2.2-1.4 Ma), (4) Ground Creek Member of the Isla Colon Formation (2.2-1.4 Ma), (5) Mimitimbi Member of the Urracá Formation (1.2-0.8 Ma), and (6) Hill Point Member of the Urracá Formation (1.2-0.8 Ma). Over 100 coral species occur in the six units, with faunal assemblages ranging from less than 10% extant taxa (Valiente Formation) to over 85% extant taxa (Ground Creek Member). The collections provide new temporal constraints on the emergence of modern Caribbean reefs, with the La Gruta Member containing the earliest occurrence of large monospecific stands of the dominant Caribbean reef coral Acropora palmata, and the Urracá Formation containing the last fossil occurrences of 15 regionally extinct taxa. Canonical correspondence analysis of 41 Late Miocene to Recent reef coral assemblages from the Caribbean region suggests changes in community structure coincident with effective oceanic closure of the Central American Seaway (~3.5 Ma). These changes, including increased Acropora dominance, may have contributed to a protracted period of elevated extinction debt prior to the major peak in regional coral extinctions (~2-1 Ma).

  10. Conservation and management applications of the REEF volunteer fish monitoring program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattengill-Semmens, Christy V; Semmens, Brice X

    2003-01-01

    The REEF Fish Survey Project is a volunteer fish monitoring program developed by the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). REEF volunteers collect fish distribution and abundance data using a standardized visual method during regular diving and snorkeling activities. Survey data are recorded on preprinted data sheets that are returned to REEF and optically digitized. Data are housed in a publicly accessible database on REEF's Web site (http://www.reef.org). Since the project's inception in 1993, over 40,000 surveys have been conducted in the coastal waters of North America, tropical western Atlantic, Gulf of California and Hawaii. The Fish Survey Project has been incorporated into existing monitoring programs through partnerships with government agencies, scientists, conservation organizations, and private institutions. REEF's partners benefit from the educational value and increased stewardship resulting from volunteer data collection. Applications of the data include an evaluation of fish/habitat interactions in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the development of a multi-species trend analysis method to identify sites of management concern, assessment of the current distribution of species, status reports on fish assemblages of marine parks, and the evaluation of no-take zones in the Florida Keys. REEF's collaboration with a variety of partners, combined with the Fish Survey Project's standardized census method and database management system, has resulted in a successful citizen science monitoring program.

  11. Assessing the effects of marine protected area (MPA) on a reef fish assemblage in a northwestern Mediterranean marine reserve: Identifying community-based indicators

    OpenAIRE

    Claudet, Joachim; Pelletier, Dominique; Jouvenel, J.y; Bachet, F; Galzin, R

    2006-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly envisaged as a tool to manage coastal ecosystems and fisheries. Assessment of their performance with respect to management objectives is therefore important. A number of WAS provided conservation benefits for fished species. Observed benefits do not apply to all species at all times, and responses to protection are also highly variable among fish taxa. Among the many empirical studies on marine reserves, only a few designs considered 'before and ...

  12. The distribution and abundance of reef-associated predatory fishes on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emslie, Michael J.; Cheal, Alistair J.; Logan, Murray

    2017-09-01

    Predatory fishes are important components of coral-reef ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) through both the ecological functions they perform and their high value to recreational and commercial fisheries, estimated at 30 million in 2014. However, management of GBR predatory fish populations is hampered by a lack of knowledge of their distribution and abundance, aside from that of the highly targeted coral trout ( Plectropomus spp. and Variola spp.). Furthermore, there is little information on how these fishes respond to environmental stressors such as coral bleaching, outbreaks of coral-feeding starfishes ( Acanthaster planci) and storms, which limits adaptive management of their populations as the frequency or severity of such natural disturbances increases under climate change. Here, we document the distribution and abundance of 48 species of reef-associated predatory fishes and assess their vulnerability to a range of natural disturbances. There were clear differences in predatory fish assemblages across the continental shelf, but many species were widespread, with few species restricted to either inshore or offshore waters. There was weak latitudinal structure with only a few species restricted to either the northern or southern GBR. On the whole, predatory fishes were surprisingly resistant to the effects of disturbance, with few clear changes in abundance or species richness following 66 documented disturbances of varying magnitudes.

  13. High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages

    KAUST Repository

    Hoey, Andrew; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Cvitanovic, Christopher

    2011-01-01

    Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience) is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32?S, 159°04?E), the worlds' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment), and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4%) and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%). Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m -2), however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha -1), and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1%) with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances. © 2011 Hoey et al.

  14. High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages

    KAUST Repository

    Hoey, Andrew

    2011-10-03

    Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience) is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32?S, 159°04?E), the worlds\\' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment), and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4%) and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%). Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m -2), however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha -1), and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1%) with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands\\' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances. © 2011 Hoey et al.

  15. High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew S Hoey

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32'S, 159°04'E, the worlds' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment, and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4% and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%. Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m(-2, however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha(-1, and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1% with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances.

  16. Biomass and Abundance of Herbivorous Fishes on Coral Reefs off ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    effects of fishing intensity, reef geomorphology and benthic cover. Distance from the .... on herbivorous fish communities relevant to the proposed ... fragments, nearshore coastal fringing reefs ..... Over-fishing and coral bleaching pose the most ...

  17. Reef Fish of Navassa Island 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This record refers to reef fish data collected on the 2004 cruise to Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge. The random point count method (Bohnsack-Bannerot 1986)...

  18. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1999 - Present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set of Excel files contain data from visual sampling of coral reef fish species in the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The dataset...

  19. Rapid biotic homogenization of marine fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magurran, Anne E.; Dornelas, Maria; Moyes, Faye; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; McGill, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The role human activities play in reshaping biodiversity is increasingly apparent in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the responses of entire marine assemblages are not well-understood, in part, because few monitoring programs incorporate both spatial and temporal replication. Here, we analyse an exceptionally comprehensive 29-year time series of North Atlantic groundfish assemblages monitored over 5° latitude to the west of Scotland. These fish assemblages show no systematic change in species richness through time, but steady change in species composition, leading to an increase in spatial homogenization: the species identity of colder northern localities increasingly resembles that of warmer southern localities. This biotic homogenization mirrors the spatial pattern of unevenly rising ocean temperatures over the same time period suggesting that climate change is primarily responsible for the spatial homogenization we observe. In this and other ecosystems, apparent constancy in species richness may mask major changes in species composition driven by anthropogenic change. PMID:26400102

  20. Coastal fish assemblages reflect geological and oceanographic gradients within an Australian zootone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Euan S Harvey

    Full Text Available Distributions of mobile animals have been shown to be heavily influenced by habitat and climate. We address the historical and contemporary context of fish habitats within a major zootone: the Recherche Archipelago, southern western Australia. Baited remote underwater video systems were set in nine habitat types within three regions to determine the species diversity and relative abundance of bony fishes, sharks and rays. Constrained ordinations and multivariate prediction and regression trees were used to examine the effects of gradients in longitude, depth, distance from islands and coast, and epibenthic habitat on fish assemblage composition. A total of 90 species from 43 families were recorded from a wide range of functional groups. Ordination accounted for 19% of the variation in the assemblage composition when constrained by spatial and epibenthic covariates, and identified redundancy in the use of distance from the nearest emergent island as a predictor. A spatial hierarchy of fourteen fish assemblages was identified using multivariate prediction and regression trees, with the primary split between assemblages on macroalgal reefs, and those on bare or sandy habitats supporting seagrass beds. The characterisation of indicator species for assemblages within the hierarchy revealed important faunal break in fish assemblages at 122.30 East at Cape Le Grand and subtle niche partitioning amongst species within the labrids and monacanthids. For example, some species of monacanthids were habitat specialists and predominantly found on seagrass (Acanthaluteres vittiger, Scobinichthys granulatus, reef (Meuschenia galii, Meuschenia hippocrepis or sand habitats (Nelusetta ayraudi. Predatory fish that consume molluscs, crustaceans and cephalopods were dominant with evidence of habitat generalisation in reef species to cope with local disturbances by wave action. Niche separation within major genera, and a sub-regional faunal break, indicate future

  1. Reservoir floodplains support distinct fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Leandro E.; Wigen, S. L.; Dagel, Jonah D.

    2014-01-01

    Reservoirs constructed on floodplain rivers are unique because the upper reaches of the impoundment may include extensive floodplain environments. Moreover, reservoirs that experience large periodic water level fluctuations as part of their operational objectives seasonally inundate and dewater floodplains in their upper reaches, partly mimicking natural inundations of river floodplains. In four flood control reservoirs in Mississippi, USA, we explored the dynamics of connectivity between reservoirs and adjacent floodplains and the characteristics of fish assemblages that develop in reservoir floodplains relative to those that develop in reservoir bays. Although fish species richness in floodplains and bays were similar, species composition differed. Floodplains emphasized fish species largely associated with backwater shallow environments, often resistant to harsh environmental conditions. Conversely, dominant species in bays represented mainly generalists that benefit from the continuous connectivity between the bay and the main reservoir. Floodplains in the study reservoirs provided desirable vegetated habitats at lower water level elevations, earlier in the year, and more frequently than in bays. Inundating dense vegetation in bays requires raising reservoir water levels above the levels required to reach floodplains. Therefore, aside from promoting distinct fish assemblages within reservoirs and helping promote diversity in regulated rivers, reservoir floodplains are valued because they can provide suitable vegetated habitats for fish species at elevations below the normal pool, precluding the need to annually flood upland vegetation that would inevitably be impaired by regular flooding. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  2. Demersal and larval fish assemblages in the Chukchi Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norcross, Brenda L.; Holladay, Brenda A.; Busby, Morgan S.; Mier, Kathryn L.

    2010-01-01

    A multidisciplinary research cruise was conducted in the Chukchi Sea in summer 2004 during which we investigated assemblages of small demersal fishes and ichthyoplankton and the water masses associated with these assemblages. This study establishes a baseline of 30 demersal fish and 25 ichthyoplankton taxa in US and Russian waters of the Chukchi Sea. Presence/absence of small demersal fish clustered into four assemblages: Coastal Fishes, Western Chukchi Fishes, South Central Chukchi Fishes, and North Central Chukchi Fishes. Habitats occupied by small demersal fishes were characterized by sediment type, bottom salinity, and bottom temperature. Abundance of ichthyoplankton grouped into three assemblages with geographical extent similar to that of the bottom assemblages, except that there was a single assemblage for Central Chukchi Fishes. Water-column temperature and salinity characterized ichthyoplankton habitats. Three water masses, Alaska Coastal Water, Bering Sea Water, and Winter Water, were identified from both bottom and depth-averaged water-column temperature and salinity. A fourth water mass, Resident Chukchi Water, was identified only in the bottom water. The water mass and habitat characteristics with which demersal and larval fish assemblages were associated create a baseline to measure anticipated effects of climate change that are expected to be most severe at high latitudes. Monitoring fish assemblages could be a tool for assessing the effects of climate change. Climate-induced changes in distributions of species would result in a restructuring of fish assemblages in the Chukchi Sea.

  3. Fishing degrades size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, James P W; Williams, Ivor D; Edwards, Andrew M; McPherson, Jana; Yeager, Lauren; Vigliola, Laurent; Brainard, Russell E; Baum, Julia K

    2017-03-01

    Fishing pressure on coral reef ecosystems has been frequently linked to reductions of large fishes and reef fish biomass. Associated impacts on overall community structure are, however, less clear. In size-structured aquatic ecosystems, fishing impacts are commonly quantified using size spectra, which describe the distribution of individual body sizes within a community. We examined the size spectra and biomass of coral reef fish communities at 38 US-affiliated Pacific islands that ranged in human presence from near pristine to human population centers. Size spectra 'steepened' steadily with increasing human population and proximity to market due to a reduction in the relative biomass of large fishes and an increase in the dominance of small fishes. Reef fish biomass was substantially lower on inhabited islands than uninhabited ones, even at inhabited islands with the lowest levels of human presence. We found that on populated islands size spectra exponents decreased (analogous to size spectra steepening) linearly with declining biomass, whereas on uninhabited islands there was no relationship. Size spectra were steeper in regions of low sea surface temperature but were insensitive to variation in other environmental and geomorphic covariates. In contrast, reef fish biomass was highly sensitive to oceanographic conditions, being influenced by both oceanic productivity and sea surface temperature. Our results suggest that community size structure may be a more robust indicator than fish biomass to increasing human presence and that size spectra are reliable indicators of exploitation impacts across regions of different fish community compositions, environmental drivers, and fisheries types. Size-based approaches that link directly to functional properties of fish communities, and are relatively insensitive to abiotic variation across biogeographic regions, offer great potential for developing our understanding of fishing impacts in coral reef ecosystems. © 2016

  4. Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena L.E.S. Wagner

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes, live coral cover and patch size (volume. The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region.

  5. 2015 Carbbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1505, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2015 Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate length-frequency...

  6. SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1202, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate...

  7. 2012 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1201, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to collect video data of reef fish on western Gulf of Mexico shelf-edge banks to facilitate assessments of...

  8. 2012 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1201, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to collect video data of reef fish on western Gulf of Mexico shelf-edge banks to facilitate assessments of...

  9. SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1202, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate...

  10. 2013 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1302, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2013 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to collect video data of reef fish on western Gulf of Mexico shelf-edge banks to facilitate assessments of...

  11. 2015 Carbbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1505, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2015 Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate length-frequency...

  12. 2016 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1601, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2016 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species on continental shelf-edge banks of the Gulf of Mexico, estimate...

  13. 2013 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1302, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2013 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to collect video data of reef fish on western Gulf of Mexico shelf-edge banks to facilitate assessments of...

  14. Elevated land runoff after European settlement perturbs persistent foraminiferal assemblages on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, S; Patel, F; Ditchburn, R

    2012-01-01

    Coral reefs are under pressure from a variety of human-induced disturbances, but demonstration of ecosystem changes and identification of stressors are often difficult. We tested whether global change or increased agricultural runoff after European settlement of Northeast Australia (ca. 1860) has affected inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. Eleven sediment cores were retrieved from inner reefs, intermediate reefs, and outer-island reefs, and benthic foraminiferal assemblages were analyzed in dated (14C, 210Pb, 137Cs) core sections (N = 82 samples). Data were grouped into six age bands ( 1500 yr). Principal component analysis and two-factor (Zone and Age) permutational analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) suggested that assemblages from the three zones were significantly different from each other over several millennia, with symbiont-bearing (mixotrophic) species dominating the outer reefs. A significant interaction term indicated that within-zone patterns varied. Assemblages in outer reefs unaffected from increased land runoff were persistent until present times. In both other zones, assemblages were also persistent until 150 yr ago, suggesting that benthic foraminiferal assemblages are naturally highly persistent over long (> 2000 yr) timescales. Assemblages in core sections PERMANOVA. With some exceptions, changes on the inner and intermediate reefs were consistent with a model predicting that increased nutrients and higher turbidity enhance relative abundance of heterotrophic species. Given that assemblages did not change in outer-island reefs (not impacted by runoff) we argue that changes in assemblages due to global change can be rejected as an explanation. Thus, the findings are more consistent with the hypothesis that agricultural runoff since European settlement altered foraminiferal assemblages than with the hypothesis that global forcing caused changes.

  15. Parrotfish size: a simple yet useful alternative indicator of fishing effects on Caribbean reefs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallès, Henri; Oxenford, Hazel A

    2014-01-01

    There is great need to identify simple yet reliable indicators of fishing effects within the multi-species, multi-gear, data-poor fisheries of the Caribbean. Here, we investigate links between fishing pressure and three simple fish metrics, i.e. average fish weight (an estimate of average individual fish size), fish density and fish biomass, derived from (1) the parrotfish family, a ubiquitous herbivore family across the Caribbean, and (2) three fish groups of "commercial" carnivores including snappers and groupers, which are widely-used as indicators of fishing effects. We hypothesize that, because most Caribbean reefs are being heavily fished, fish metrics derived from the less vulnerable parrotfish group would exhibit stronger relationships with fishing pressure on today's Caribbean reefs than those derived from the highly vulnerable commercial fish groups. We used data from 348 Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) reef-surveys across the Caribbean to assess relationships between two independent indices of fishing pressure (one derived from human population density data, the other from open to fishing versus protected status) and the three fish metrics derived from the four aforementioned fish groups. We found that, although two fish metrics, average parrotfish weight and combined biomass of selected commercial species, were consistently negatively linked to the indices of fishing pressure across the Caribbean, the parrotfish metric consistently outranked the latter in the strength of the relationship, thus supporting our hypothesis. Overall, our study highlights that (assemblage-level) average parrotfish size might be a useful alternative indicator of fishing effects over the typical conditions of most Caribbean shallow reefs: moderate-to-heavy levels of fishing and low abundance of highly valued commercial species.

  16. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Coral Reef Fish collected in Fl Keys Reef Tract (2014)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Divers conducted reef visual census (RVC) fish surveys and habitat assessments at 433 sites in the Florida Keys, 436 sites in the Dry Tortugas and 320 sites in the...

  17. Phylogenetic perspectives on reef fish functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floeter, Sergio R; Bender, Mariana G; Siqueira, Alexandre C; Cowman, Peter F

    2018-02-01

    Functional traits have been fundamental to the evolution and diversification of entire fish lineages on coral reefs. Yet their relationship with the processes promoting speciation, extinction and the filtering of local species pools remains unclear. We review the current literature exploring the evolution of diet, body size, water column use and geographic range size in reef-associated fishes. Using published and new data, we mapped functional traits on to published phylogenetic trees to uncover evolutionary patterns that have led to the current functional diversity of fishes on coral reefs. When examining reconstructed patterns for diet and feeding mode, we found examples of independent transitions to planktivory across different reef fish families. Such transitions and associated morphological alterations may represent cases in which ecological opportunity for the exploitation of different resources drives speciation and adaptation. In terms of body size, reconstructions showed that both large and small sizes appear multiple times within clades of mid-sized fishes and that extreme body sizes have arisen mostly in the last 10 million years (Myr). The reconstruction of range size revealed many cases of disparate range sizes among sister species. Such range size disparity highlights potential vicariant processes through isolation in peripheral locations. When accounting for peripheral speciation processes in sister pairs, we found a significant relationship between labrid range size and lineage age. The diversity and evolution of traits within lineages is influenced by trait-environment interactions as well as by species and trait-trait interactions, where the presence of a given trait may trigger the development of related traits or behaviours. Our effort to assess the evolution of functional diversity across reef fish clades adds to the burgeoning research focusing on the evolutionary and ecological roles of functional traits. We argue that the combination of a

  18. Coral recovery may not herald the return of fishes on damaged coral reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Bellwood, David R.; Baird, Andrew Hamilton; Depczynski, Martial R.; Gonzá lez-Cabello, Alonso; Hoey, Andrew; Lefé vre, Carine D.; Tanner, Jennifer K.

    2012-01-01

    The dynamic nature of coral reefs offers a rare opportunity to examine the response of ecosystems to disruption due to climate change. In 1998, the Great Barrier Reef experienced widespread coral bleaching and mortality. As a result, cryptobenthic fish assemblages underwent a dramatic phase-shift. Thirteen years, and up to 96 fish generations later, the cryptobenthic fish assemblage has not returned to its pre-bleach configuration. This is despite coral abundances returning to, or exceeding, pre-bleach values. The post-bleach fish assemblage exhibits no evidence of recovery. If these short-lived fish species are a model for their longer-lived counterparts, they suggest that (1) the full effects of the 1998 bleaching event on long-lived fish populations have yet to be seen, (2) it may take decades, or more, before recovery or regeneration of these long-lived species will begin, and (3) fish assemblages may not recover to their previous composition despite the return of corals. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  19. Coral recovery may not herald the return of fishes on damaged coral reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Bellwood, David R.

    2012-03-25

    The dynamic nature of coral reefs offers a rare opportunity to examine the response of ecosystems to disruption due to climate change. In 1998, the Great Barrier Reef experienced widespread coral bleaching and mortality. As a result, cryptobenthic fish assemblages underwent a dramatic phase-shift. Thirteen years, and up to 96 fish generations later, the cryptobenthic fish assemblage has not returned to its pre-bleach configuration. This is despite coral abundances returning to, or exceeding, pre-bleach values. The post-bleach fish assemblage exhibits no evidence of recovery. If these short-lived fish species are a model for their longer-lived counterparts, they suggest that (1) the full effects of the 1998 bleaching event on long-lived fish populations have yet to be seen, (2) it may take decades, or more, before recovery or regeneration of these long-lived species will begin, and (3) fish assemblages may not recover to their previous composition despite the return of corals. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  20. Effectiveness of benthic foraminiferal and coral assemblages as water quality indicators on inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, S.; Thompson, A.; Schaffelke, B.

    2010-03-01

    Although the debate about coral reef decline focuses on global disturbances (e.g., increasing temperatures and acidification), local stressors (nutrient runoff and overfishing) continue to affect reef health and resilience. The effectiveness of foraminiferal and hard-coral assemblages as indicators of changes in water quality was assessed on 27 inshore reefs along the Great Barrier Reef. Environmental variables (i.e., several water quality and sediment parameters) and the composition of both benthic foraminiferal and hard-coral assemblages differed significantly between four regions (Whitsunday, Burdekin, Fitzroy, and the Wet Tropics). Grain size and organic carbon and nitrogen content of sediments, and a composite water column parameter (based on turbidity and concentrations of particulate matter) explained a significant amount of variation in the data (tested by redundancy analyses) in both assemblages. Heterotrophic species of foraminifera were dominant in sediments with high organic content and in localities with low light availability, whereas symbiont-bearing mixotrophic species were dominant elsewhere. A similar suite of parameters explained 89% of the variation in the FORAM index (a Caribbean coral reef health indicator) and 61% in foraminiferal species richness. Coral richness was not related to environmental setting. Coral assemblages varied in response to environmental variables, but were strongly shaped by acute disturbances (e.g., cyclones, Acanthaster planci outbreaks, and bleaching), thus different coral assemblages may be found at sites with the same environmental conditions. Disturbances also affect foraminiferal assemblages, but they appeared to recover more rapidly than corals. Foraminiferal assemblages are effective bioindicators of turbidity/light regimes and organic enrichment of sediments on coral reefs.

  1. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.

    2017-06-06

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  2. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Maha T; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Berumen, Michael L

    2017-01-01

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3-24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals . All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  3. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maha T. Khalil

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  4. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  5. Seaweed beds support more juvenile reef fish than seagrass beds in a south-western Atlantic tropical seascape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggertsen, L.; Ferreira, C. E. L.; Fontoura, L.; Kautsky, N.; Gullström, M.; Berkström, C.

    2017-09-01

    Seascape connectivity is regarded essential for healthy reef fish communities in tropical shallow systems. A number of reef fish species use separate adult and nursery habitats, and hence contribute to nutrient and energy transfer between habitats. Seagrass beds and mangroves often constitute important nursery habitats, with high structural complexity and protection from predation. Here, we investigated if reef fish assemblages in the tropical south-western Atlantic demonstrate ontogenetic habitat connectivity and identify possible nurseries on three reef systems along the eastern Brazilian coast. Fish were surveyed in fore reef, back reef, Halodule wrightii seagrass beds and seaweed beds. Seagrass beds contained lower abundances and species richness of fish than expected, while Sargassum-dominated seaweed beds contained significantly more juveniles than all other habitats (average juvenile fish densities: 32.6 per 40 m2 in Sargassum beds, 11.2 per 40 m2 in back reef, 10.1 per 40 m2 in fore reef, and 5.04 per 40 m2 in seagrass beds), including several species that are found in the reef habitats as adults. Species that in other regions worldwide (e.g. the Caribbean) utilise seagrass beds as nursery habitats were here instead observed in Sargassum beds or back reef habitats. Coral cover was not correlated to adult fish distribution patterns; instead, type of turf was an important variable. Connectivity, and thus pathways of nutrient transfer, seems to function differently in east Brazil compared to many tropical regions. Sargassum-dominated beds might be more important as nurseries for a larger number of fish species than seagrass beds. Due to the low abundance of structurally complex seagrass beds we suggest that seaweed beds might influence adult reef fish abundances, being essential for several keystone species of reef fish in the tropical south-western Atlantic.

  6. Benthic habitat and fish assemblage structure from shallow to mesophotic depths in a storm-impacted marine protected area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abesamis, Rene A.; Langlois, Tim; Birt, Matthew; Thillainath, Emma; Bucol, Abner A.; Arceo, Hazel O.; Russ, Garry R.

    2018-03-01

    Baseline ecological studies of mesophotic coral ecosystems are lacking in the equatorial Indo-West Pacific region where coral reefs are highly threatened by anthropogenic and climate-induced disturbances. Here, we used baited remote underwater video to describe benthic habitat and fish assemblage structure from 10 to 80 m depth at Apo Island, a well-managed marine protected area in the Philippines. We conducted surveys 2 yr after two storms (in 2011 and 2012) caused severe damage to shallow coral communities within the no-take marine reserve (NTMR) of Apo Island, which led to declines in fish populations that had built up over three decades. We found that hard coral cover was restricted to the storm-impacted NTMR and a nearby fished area not impacted by storms. Benthic cover at mesophotic depths (> 30 m) was dominated by sand/rubble and rock (dead coral) with low cover of soft corals, sponges and macroalgae. Storm damage appeared to have reached the deepest limit of the fringing reef (40 m) and reduced variability in benthic structure within the NTMR. Species richness and/or abundance of most trophic groups of fish declined with increasing depth regardless of storm damage. There were differences in taxonomic and trophic structure and degree of targeting by fisheries between shallow and mesophotic fish assemblages. Threatened shark species and a fish species previously unreported in the Philippines were recorded at mesophotic depths. Our findings provide a first glimpse of the benthic and fish assemblage structure of Philippine coral reef ecosystems across a wide depth gradient. This work also underscores how a combination of limited coral reef development at mesophotic depths close to shallow reefs and severe habitat loss caused by storms would result in minimal depth refuge for reef fish populations.

  7. Post-Disturbance Stability of Fish Assemblages Measured at Coarse Taxonomic Resolution Masks Change at Finer Scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Emslie, Michael J; Richards, Zoe T

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying changes to coral reef fish assemblages in the wake of cyclonic disturbances is challenging due to spatial variability of damage inherent in such events. Often, fish abundance appears stable at one spatial scale (e.g. reef-wide), but exhibits substantial change at finer scales (e.g. site-specific decline or increase). Taxonomic resolution also plays a role; overall stability at coarse taxonomic levels (e.g. family) may mask species-level turnover. Here we document changes to reef fish communities after severe Tropical Cyclone Ita crossed Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Coral and reef fish surveys were conducted concurrently before and after the cyclone at four levels of exposure to the prevailing weather. Coral cover declined across all exposures except sheltered sites, with the largest decline at exposed sites. There was no significant overall reduction in the total density, biomass and species richness of reef fishes between 2011 and 2015, but individual fish taxa (families and species) changed in complex and unpredictable ways. For example, more families increased in density and biomass than decreased following Cyclone Ita, particularly at exposed sites whilst more fish families declined at lagoon sites even though coral cover did not decline. All sites lost biomass of several damselfish species, and at most sites there was an increase in macroinvertivores and grazers. Overall, these results suggest that the degree of change measured at coarse taxonomic levels masked high species-level turnover, although other potential explanations include that there was no impact of the storm, fish assemblages were impacted but underwent rapid recovery or that there is a time lag before the full impacts become apparent. This study confirms that in high-complexity, high diversity ecosystems such as coral reefs, species level analyses are essential to adequately capture the consequences of disturbance events.

  8. Water flow and fin shape polymorphism in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binning, Sandra A; Roche, Dominique G

    2015-03-01

    Water flow gradients have been linked to phenotypic differences and swimming performance across a variety of fish assemblages. However, the extent to which water motion shapes patterns of phenotypic divergence within species remains unknown. We tested the generality of the functional relationship between swimming morphology and water flow by exploring the extent of fin and body shape polymorphism in 12 widespread species from three families (Acanthuridae, Labridae, Pomacentridae) of pectoral-fin swimming (labriform) fishes living across localized wave exposure gradients. The pectoral fin shape of Labridae and Acanthuridae species was strongly related to wave exposure: individuals with more tapered, higher aspect ratio (AR) fins were found on windward reef crests, whereas individuals with rounder, lower AR fins were found on leeward, sheltered reefs. Three of seven Pomacentridae species showed similar trends, and pectoral fin shape was also strongly related to wave exposure in pomacentrids when fin aspect ratios of three species were compared across flow habitats at very small spatial scales (fish body fineless ratio across habitats or depths. Contrary to our predictions, there was no pattern relating species' abundances to polymorphism across habitats (i.e., abundance was not higher at sites where morphology is better adapted to the environment). This suggests that there are behavioral and/or physiological mechanisms enabling some species to persist across flow habitats in the absence of morphological differences. We suggest that functional relationships between swimming morphology and water flow not only structure species assemblages, but are yet another important variable contributing to phenotypic differences within species. The close links between fin shape polymorphism and local water flow conditions appear to be important for understanding species' distributions as well as patterns of diversification across environmental gradients.

  9. Determinants of fish assemblage structure in Northwestern Great Plains streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullen, J.A.; Bramblett, R.G.; Guy, C.S.; Zale, A.V.; Roberts, D.W.

    2011-01-01

    Prairie streams are known for their harsh and stochastic physical conditions, and the fish assemblages therein have been shown to be temporally variable. We assessed the spatial and temporal variation in fish assemblage structure in five intermittent, adventitious northwestern Great Plains streams representing a gradient of watershed areas. Fish assemblages and abiotic conditions varied more spatially than temporally. The most important variables explaining fish assemblage structure were longitudinal position and the proportion of fine substrates. The proportion of fine substrates increased proceeding upstream, approaching 100% in all five streams, and species richness declined upstream with increasing fine substrates. High levels of fine substrate in the upper reaches appeared to limit the distribution of obligate lithophilic fish species to reaches further downstream. Species richness and substrates were similar among all five streams at the lowermost and uppermost sites. However, in the middle reaches, species richness increased, the amount of fine substrate decreased, and connectivity increased as watershed area increased. Season and some dimensions of habitat (including thalweg depth, absolute distance to the main-stem river, and watershed size) were not essential in explaining the variation in fish assemblages. Fish species richness varied more temporally than overall fish assemblage structure did because common species were consistently abundant across seasons, whereas rare species were sometimes absent or perhaps not detected by sampling. The similarity in our results among five streams varying in watershed size and those from other studies supports the generalization that spatial variation exceeds temporal variation in the fish assemblages of prairie and warmwater streams. Furthermore, given longitudinal position, substrate, and stream size, general predictions regarding fish assemblage structure and function in prairie streams are possible. ?? American

  10. Length-weight relationships of coral reef fishes from the Alacran Reef, Yucatan, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez-Gandara, C.; Perez-Diaz, E.; Santos-Rodriguez, L.; Arias-Gonzalez, J.E.

    2003-01-01

    Length-weight relationships were computed for 42 species of coral reef fishes from 14 families from the Alacran Reef (Yucatan, Mexico). A total of 1 892 individuals was used for this purpose. The fish species were caught by different fishing techniques such as fishhooks, harpoons, gill and trawl nets. The sampling period was from March 1998 to January 2000.

  11. Molluscan assemblages on coral reefs and associated hard substrata in the northern Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuschin, M.; Hohenegger, J.; Steininger, F.

    2001-09-01

    Information on spatial variability and distribution patterns of organisms in coral reef environments is necessary to evaluate the increasing anthropogenic disturbance of marine environments (Richmond 1993; Wilkinson 1993; Dayton 1994). Therefore different types of subtidal, reef-associated hard substrata (reef flats, reef slopes, coral carpets, coral patches, rock grounds), each with different coral associations, were investigated to determine the distribution pattern of molluscs and their life habits (feeding strategies and substrate relations). The molluscs were strongly dominated by taxa with distinct relations to corals, and five assemblages were differentiated. The Dendropoma maxima assemblage on reef flats is a discrete entity, strongly dominated by this encrusting and suspension-feeding gastropod. All other assemblages are arranged along a substrate gradient of changing coral associations and potential molluscan habitats. The Coralliophila neritoidea- Barbatia foliata assemblage depends on the presence of Porites and shows a dominance of gastropods feeding on corals and of bivalves associated with living corals. The Chamoidea- Cerithium spp. assemblage on rock grounds is strongly dominated by encrusting bivalves. The Drupella cornus-Pteriidae assemblage occurs on Millepora- Acropora reef slopes and is strongly dominated by bivalves associated with living corals. The Barbatia setigera- Ctenoides annulata assemblage includes a broad variety of taxa, molluscan life habits and bottom types, but occurs mainly on faviid carpets and is transitional among the other three assemblages. A predicted degradation of coral coverage to rock bottoms due to increasing eutrophication and physical damage in the study area (Riegl and Piller 2000) will result in a loss of coral-associated molluscs in favor of bivalve crevice dwellers in dead coral heads and of encrusters on dead hard substrata.

  12. Global Human Footprint on the Linkage between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Ayala Bocos, Arturo; Ayotte, Paula M.; Banks, Stuart; Bauman, Andrew G.; Beger, Maria; Bessudo, Sandra; Booth, David J.; Brokovich, Eran; Brooks, Andrew; Chabanet, Pascale; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cortés, Jorge; Cruz-Motta, Juan J.; Cupul Magaña, Amilcar; DeMartini, Edward E.; Edgar, Graham J.; Feary, David A.; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gough, Charlotte; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Green, Alison; Guzman, Hector; Hardt, Marah; Kulbicki, Michel; Letourneur, Yves; López Pérez, Andres; Loreau, Michel; Loya, Yossi; Martinez, Camilo; Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael; Morove, Tau; Nadon, Marc-Olivier; Nakamura, Yohei; Paredes, Gustavo; Polunin, Nicholas V. C.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Reyes Bonilla, Héctor; Rivera, Fernando; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Soler, German; Stuart-Smith, Rick; Tessier, Emmanuel; Tittensor, Derek P.; Tupper, Mark; Usseglio, Paolo; Vigliola, Laurent; Wantiez, Laurent; Williams, Ivor; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zapata, Fernando A.

    2011-01-01

    Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas. PMID:21483714

  13. Local Biomass Baselines and the Recovery Potential for Hawaiian Coral Reef Fish Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelvin D. Gorospe

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the influence of multiple ecosystem drivers, both natural and anthropogenic, and how they vary across space is critical to the spatial management of coral reef fisheries. In Hawaii, as elsewhere, there is uncertainty with regards to how areas should be selected for protection, and management efforts prioritized. One strategy is to prioritize efforts based on an area's biomass baseline, or natural capacity to support reef fish populations. Another strategy is to prioritize areas based on their recovery potential, or in other words, the potential increase in fish biomass from present-day state, should management be effective at restoring assemblages to something more like their baseline state. We used data from 717 fisheries-independent reef fish monitoring surveys from 2012 to 2015 around the main Hawaiian Islands as well as site-level data on benthic habitat, oceanographic conditions, and human population density, to develop a hierarchical, linear Bayesian model that explains spatial variation in: (1 herbivorous and (2 total reef fish biomass. We found that while human population density negatively affected fish assemblages at all surveyed areas, there was considerable variation in the natural capacity of different areas to support reef fish biomass. For example, some areas were predicted to have the capacity to support ten times as much herbivorous fish biomass as other areas. Overall, the model found human population density to have negatively impacted fish biomass throughout Hawaii, however the magnitude and uncertainty of these impacts varied locally. Results provide part of the basis for marine spatial planning and/or MPA-network design within Hawaii.

  14. Behavioral Ecology of Coral Reef Fishes at Spawning Aggregation Sites

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sancho, Gorka

    1998-01-01

    This thesis is an extensive investigation of the behavioral and ecological relationships between spawning reef fishes, their predators, and various environmental parameters at spawning aggregation sites...

  15. Reef Fishes at All Trophic Levels Respond Positively to Effective Marine Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, German A.; Edgar, Graham J.; Thomson, Russell J.; Kininmonth, Stuart; Campbell, Stuart J.; Dawson, Terence P.; Barrett, Neville S.; Bernard, Anthony T. F.; Galván, David E.; Willis, Trevor J.; Alexander, Timothy J.; Stuart-Smith, Rick D.

    2015-01-01

    Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) offer a unique opportunity to test the assumption that fishing pressure affects some trophic groups more than others. Removal of larger predators through fishing is often suggested to have positive flow-on effects for some lower trophic groups, in which case protection from fishing should result in suppression of lower trophic groups as predator populations recover. We tested this by assessing differences in the trophic structure of reef fish communities associated with 79 MPAs and open-access sites worldwide, using a standardised quantitative dataset on reef fish community structure. The biomass of all major trophic groups (higher carnivores, benthic carnivores, planktivores and herbivores) was significantly greater (by 40% - 200%) in effective no-take MPAs relative to fished open-access areas. This effect was most pronounced for individuals in large size classes, but with no size class of any trophic group showing signs of depressed biomass in MPAs, as predicted from higher predator abundance. Thus, greater biomass in effective MPAs implies that exploitation on shallow rocky and coral reefs negatively affects biomass of all fish trophic groups and size classes. These direct effects of fishing on trophic structure appear stronger than any top down effects on lower trophic levels that would be imposed by intact predator populations. We propose that exploitation affects fish assemblages at all trophic levels, and that local ecosystem function is generally modified by fishing. PMID:26461104

  16. Reef Fishes at All Trophic Levels Respond Positively to Effective Marine Protected Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    German A Soler

    Full Text Available Marine Protected Areas (MPAs offer a unique opportunity to test the assumption that fishing pressure affects some trophic groups more than others. Removal of larger predators through fishing is often suggested to have positive flow-on effects for some lower trophic groups, in which case protection from fishing should result in suppression of lower trophic groups as predator populations recover. We tested this by assessing differences in the trophic structure of reef fish communities associated with 79 MPAs and open-access sites worldwide, using a standardised quantitative dataset on reef fish community structure. The biomass of all major trophic groups (higher carnivores, benthic carnivores, planktivores and herbivores was significantly greater (by 40% - 200% in effective no-take MPAs relative to fished open-access areas. This effect was most pronounced for individuals in large size classes, but with no size class of any trophic group showing signs of depressed biomass in MPAs, as predicted from higher predator abundance. Thus, greater biomass in effective MPAs implies that exploitation on shallow rocky and coral reefs negatively affects biomass of all fish trophic groups and size classes. These direct effects of fishing on trophic structure appear stronger than any top down effects on lower trophic levels that would be imposed by intact predator populations. We propose that exploitation affects fish assemblages at all trophic levels, and that local ecosystem function is generally modified by fishing.

  17. Depth refuge and the impacts of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J Lindfield

    Full Text Available In recent decades, spearfishing with SCUBA has emerged as an efficient method for targeting reef fish in deeper waters. However, deeper waters are increasingly recognised as a potential source of refuge that may help sustain fishery resources. We used a combination of historical catch data over a 20-year time period and fishery-independent surveys to investigate the effects of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fish populations in the southern Mariana Islands. Two jurisdictions were studied; Guam, where SCUBA spearfishing is practiced, and the nearby Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI, where SCUBA spearfishing has been banned since 2003. Fishery-independent data were collected using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs stratified by depth, marine protected area status and jurisdiction. Herbivores (primary consumers dominated spearfishing catches, with parrotfish (scarines and surgeonfish/unicornfish (acanthurids the main groups harvested. However, the large, endangered humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus was the main species by weight landed by SCUBA spearfishers. SCUBA spearfishing was associated with declining size of scarines over time and catches shifting from a dominance of large parrotfishes to a mixed assemblage with increasing proportions of acanthurids. Comparisons between Guam and the nearby CNMI revealed differences in the assemblage of fished species and also greater size of scarines and acanthurids in deep water where SCUBA fishing is banned. These results suggest that SCUBA spearfishing impacts reef fish populations and that the restriction of this fishing method will ensure refuge for fish populations in deeper waters. We recommend a ban on SCUBA spearfishing to preserve or aid the recovery of large, functionally important coral reef species and to improve the sustainability of coral reef fisheries.

  18. Depth refuge and the impacts of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindfield, Steven J; McIlwain, Jennifer L; Harvey, Euan S

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, spearfishing with SCUBA has emerged as an efficient method for targeting reef fish in deeper waters. However, deeper waters are increasingly recognised as a potential source of refuge that may help sustain fishery resources. We used a combination of historical catch data over a 20-year time period and fishery-independent surveys to investigate the effects of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fish populations in the southern Mariana Islands. Two jurisdictions were studied; Guam, where SCUBA spearfishing is practiced, and the nearby Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), where SCUBA spearfishing has been banned since 2003. Fishery-independent data were collected using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs) stratified by depth, marine protected area status and jurisdiction. Herbivores (primary consumers) dominated spearfishing catches, with parrotfish (scarines) and surgeonfish/unicornfish (acanthurids) the main groups harvested. However, the large, endangered humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) was the main species by weight landed by SCUBA spearfishers. SCUBA spearfishing was associated with declining size of scarines over time and catches shifting from a dominance of large parrotfishes to a mixed assemblage with increasing proportions of acanthurids. Comparisons between Guam and the nearby CNMI revealed differences in the assemblage of fished species and also greater size of scarines and acanthurids in deep water where SCUBA fishing is banned. These results suggest that SCUBA spearfishing impacts reef fish populations and that the restriction of this fishing method will ensure refuge for fish populations in deeper waters. We recommend a ban on SCUBA spearfishing to preserve or aid the recovery of large, functionally important coral reef species and to improve the sustainability of coral reef fisheries.

  19. How will coral reef fish communities respond to climate-driven disturbances? Insight from landscape-scale perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Thomas C; Brooks, Andrew J; Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Washburn, Libe; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2014-09-01

    Global climate change is rapidly altering disturbance regimes in many ecosystems including coral reefs, yet the long-term impacts of these changes on ecosystem structure and function are difficult to predict. A major ecosystem service provided by coral reefs is the provisioning of physical habitat for other organisms, and consequently, many of the effects of climate change on coral reefs will be mediated by their impacts on habitat structure. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the independent and combined effects of coral mortality and loss of physical habitat on reef-associated biota. Here, we use a unique series of events affecting the coral reefs around the Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia to differentiate between the impacts of coral mortality and the degradation of physical habitat on the structure of reef fish communities. We found that, by removing large amounts of physical habitat, a tropical cyclone had larger impacts on reef fish communities than an outbreak of coral-eating sea stars that caused widespread coral mortality but left the physical structure intact. In addition, the impacts of declining structural complexity on reef fish assemblages accelerated as structure became increasingly rare. Structure provided by dead coral colonies can take up to decades to erode following coral mortality, and, consequently, our results suggest that predictions based on short-term studies are likely to grossly underestimate the long-term impacts of coral decline on reef fish communities.

  20. Downstream impacts of dams: shifts in benthic invertivorous fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granzotti, Rafaela Vendrametto; Miranda, Leandro E.; Agostinho, Angelo A.; Gomes, Luiz Carlos

    2018-01-01

    Impoundments alter connectivity, sediment transport and water discharge in rivers and floodplains, affecting recruitment, habitat and resource availability for fish including benthic invertivorous fish, which represent an important link between primary producers and higher trophic levels in tropical aquatic ecosystems. We investigated long-term changes to water regime, water quality, and invertivorous fish assemblages pre and post impoundment in three rivers downstream of Porto Primavera Reservoir in south Brazil: Paraná, Baía and Ivinhema rivers. Impacts were distinct in the Paraná River, which is fully obstructed by the dam, less evident in the Baía River which is partially obstructed by the dam, but absent in the unimpounded Ivinhema River. Changes in water regime were reflected mainly as changes in water-level fluctuation with little effect on timing. Water transparency increased in the Paraná River post impoundment but did not change in the Baía and Ivinhema rivers. Changes in fish assemblages included a decrease in benthic invertivorous fish in the Paraná River and a shift in invertivorous fish assemblage structure in the Baía and Paraná rivers but not in the unimpounded Ivinhema River. Changes in water regime and water transparency, caused by impoundment, directly or indirectly impacted invertivorous fish assemblages. Alterations of fish assemblages following environmental changes have consequences over the entire ecosystem, including a potential decrease in the diversity of mechanisms for energy flow. We suggest that keeping existing unimpounded tributaries free of dams, engineering artificial floods, and intensive management of fish habitat within the floodplain may preserve native fish assemblages and help maintain functionality and ecosystem services in highly impounded rivers.

  1. Ocular media transmission of coral reef fish--can coral reef fish see ultraviolet light?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siebeck, U E; Marshall, N J

    2001-01-15

    Many coral reef fish are beautifully coloured and the reflectance spectra of their colour patterns may include UVa wavelengths (315-400 nm) that are largely invisible to the human eye (Losey, G. S., Cronin, T. W., Goldsmith, T. H., David, H., Marshall, N. J., & McFarland, W.N. (1999). The uv visual world of fishes: a review. Journal of Fish Biology, 54, 921-943; Marshall, N. J. & Oberwinkler, J. (1999). The colourful world of the mantis shrimp. Nature, 401, 873-874). Before the possible functional significance of UV patterns can be investigated, it is of course essential to establish whether coral reef fishes can see ultraviolet light. As a means of tackling this question, in this study the transmittance of the ocular media of 211 coral reef fish species was measured. It was found that the ocular media of 50.2% of the examined species strongly absorb light of wavelengths below 400 nm, which makes the perception of UV in these fish very unlikely. The remaining 49.8% of the species studied possess ocular media that do transmit UV light, making the perception of UV possible.

  2. Interoceanic differences in the reproduction of coral-reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thresher, R E

    1982-10-01

    Eggs of demersal spawning coral-reef fishes of the tropical western Atlantic are smaller than those of related species in the western Pacific. Decreased egg volume may result in increased fecundity per unit body weight of Atlantic species, a factor that may underlie apparent differences in the stability of the respective coral-reef fish communities.

  3. Mangroves Enhance Reef Fish Abundance at the Caribbean Regional Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serafy, Joseph E; Shideler, Geoffrey S; Araújo, Rafael J; Nagelkerken, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Several studies conducted at the scale of islands, or small sections of continental coastlines, have suggested that mangrove habitats serve to enhance fish abundances on coral reefs, mainly by providing nursery grounds for several ontogenetically-migrating species. However, evidence of such enhancement at a regional scale has not been reported, and recently, some researchers have questioned the mangrove-reef subsidy effect. In the present study, using two different regression approaches, we pursued two questions related to mangrove-reef connectivity at the Caribbean regional scale: (1) Are reef fish abundances limited by mangrove forest area?; and (2) Are mean reef fish abundances proportional to mangrove forest area after taking human population density and latitude into account? Specifically, we tested for Caribbean-wide mangrove forest area effects on the abundances of 12 reef fishes that have been previously characterized as "mangrove-dependent". Analyzed were data from an ongoing, long-term (20-year) citizen-scientist fish monitoring program; coastal human population censuses; and several wetland forest information sources. Quantile regression results supported the notion that mangrove forest area limits the abundance of eight of the 12 fishes examined. Linear mixed-effects regression results, which considered potential human (fishing and habitat degradation) and latitudinal influences, suggested that average reef fish densities of at least six of the 12 focal fishes were directly proportional to mangrove forest area. Recent work questioning the mangrove-reef fish subsidy effect likely reflects a failure to: (1) focus analyses on species that use mangroves as nurseries, (2) consider more than the mean fish abundance response to mangrove forest extent; and/or (3) quantitatively account for potentially confounding human impacts, such as fishing pressure and habitat degradation. Our study is the first to demonstrate at a large regional scale (i.e., the Wider

  4. Mangroves Enhance Reef Fish Abundance at the Caribbean Regional Scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E Serafy

    Full Text Available Several studies conducted at the scale of islands, or small sections of continental coastlines, have suggested that mangrove habitats serve to enhance fish abundances on coral reefs, mainly by providing nursery grounds for several ontogenetically-migrating species. However, evidence of such enhancement at a regional scale has not been reported, and recently, some researchers have questioned the mangrove-reef subsidy effect. In the present study, using two different regression approaches, we pursued two questions related to mangrove-reef connectivity at the Caribbean regional scale: (1 Are reef fish abundances limited by mangrove forest area?; and (2 Are mean reef fish abundances proportional to mangrove forest area after taking human population density and latitude into account? Specifically, we tested for Caribbean-wide mangrove forest area effects on the abundances of 12 reef fishes that have been previously characterized as "mangrove-dependent". Analyzed were data from an ongoing, long-term (20-year citizen-scientist fish monitoring program; coastal human population censuses; and several wetland forest information sources. Quantile regression results supported the notion that mangrove forest area limits the abundance of eight of the 12 fishes examined. Linear mixed-effects regression results, which considered potential human (fishing and habitat degradation and latitudinal influences, suggested that average reef fish densities of at least six of the 12 focal fishes were directly proportional to mangrove forest area. Recent work questioning the mangrove-reef fish subsidy effect likely reflects a failure to: (1 focus analyses on species that use mangroves as nurseries, (2 consider more than the mean fish abundance response to mangrove forest extent; and/or (3 quantitatively account for potentially confounding human impacts, such as fishing pressure and habitat degradation. Our study is the first to demonstrate at a large regional scale (i

  5. Individual variation in habitat use in two stream fish assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa Resende Manna

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The habitat use is an individual choice that is influenced by physical conditions such as substrate type, food resources availability and adequate depth. However, habitat use is often measured only through interspecific variability because intraspecific variability is supposed to be low. Here, the differences in habitat use by two stream fish assemblages in two different environments (Brazilian rainforest and semiarid were investigated at both interspecific and intraspecific levels. We performed 55 hours of underwater observation in a 200 meters long stretch in each stream and quantified the following habitat descriptors: (i water velocity, (ii distance from the stream bank, (iii substratum, (iv water column depth, (v aquatic cover, and (vi canopy percentage. To compare intra and interspecific variability we summarized the multivariate habitat use databases using Principal Components Analysis (PCA on Euclidean distance. An Analysis of Similarity (ANOSIM was performed to test the differences in habitat use by the two assemblages. Besides, in each fish community we did an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA to test within vs between species variability for individual position on each PCA axes. To go further than these univariate tests, the differences among the species and assemblages were tested with Permutational Multivariate Analysis of Variance (PERMANOVA. The habitat use between assemblages was significantly different (ANOSIM – R=0.14; p<0.001. PERMANOVA revealed significant differences among species in both assemblages (Rainforest - F=7.25; p<0.001; semiarid - F=4.84; p<0.001. Lower F values in the semiarid assemblage revealed a higher level of intraspecific variability for this assemblage. Our findings showed high intra and interspecific variability in both stream fish assemblages and highlight the importance of measuring individual’s differences for this feature of fish biodiversity. Additionally, the versatility described for tropical

  6. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-01-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery. PMID:24634720

  7. ENERGETIC EXTREMES IN REEF FISH OCCUPYING HARSH HABITATS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffensen, John Fleng

    2009-01-01

    document how relatively small changes in fin morphology has afforded some coral reef fish taxa with exceptional locomotor performance and energetic efficiency, and how this key attribute may have played a key role in the evolution and ecology of several diverse Indo-Pacific reef fish families. Using......-finned counterparts. We discuss how such differences in locomotor efficiency are pivotal to the habitat-use of these fishes, and how eco-energetic models may be used to provide new insights into spatial variations in fish demography and ecology among coral reef habitat zones....

  8. Congruence in demersal fish, macroinvertebrate, and macroalgal community turnover on shallow temperate reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Russell J; Hill, Nicole A; Leaper, Rebecca; Ellis, Nick; Pitcher, C Roland; Barrett, Neville S; Edgar, Graham J

    2014-03-01

    To support coastal planning through improved understanding of patterns of biotic and abiotic surrogacy at broad scales, we used gradient forest modeling (GFM) to analyze and predict spatial patterns of compositional turnover of demersal fishes, macroinvertebrates, and macroalgae on shallow, temperate Australian reefs. Predictive models were first developed using environmental surrogates with estimates of prediction uncertainty, and then the efficacy of the three assemblages as biosurrogates for each other was assessed. Data from underwater visual surveys of subtidal rocky reefs were collected from the southeastern coastline of continental Australia (including South Australia and Victoria) and the northern coastline of Tasmania. These data were combined with 0.01 degree-resolution gridded environmental variables to develop statistical models of compositional turnover (beta diversity) using GFM. GFM extends the machine learning, ensemble tree-based method of random forests (RF), to allow the simultaneous modeling of multiple taxa. The models were used to generate predictions of compositional turnover for each of the three assemblages within unsurveyed areas across the 6600 km of coastline in the region of interest. The most important predictor for all three assemblages was variability in sea surface temperature (measured as standard deviation from measures taken interannually). Spatial predictions of compositional turnover within unsurveyed areas across the region of interest were remarkably congruent across the three taxa. However, the greatest uncertainty in these predictions varied in location among the different assemblages. Pairwise congruency comparisons of observed and predicted turnover among the three assemblages showed that invertebrate and macroalgal biodiversity were most similar, followed by fishes and macroalgae, and lastly fishes and invertebrate biodiversity, suggesting that of the three assemblages, macroalgae would make the best biosurrogate for

  9. Functionally diverse reef-fish communities ameliorate coral disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymundo, Laurie J; Halford, Andrew R; Maypa, Aileen P; Kerr, Alexander M

    2009-10-06

    Coral reefs, the most diverse of marine ecosystems, currently experience unprecedented levels of degradation. Diseases are now recognized as a major cause of mortality in reef-forming corals and are complicit in phase shifts of reef ecosystems to algal-dominated states worldwide. Even so, factors contributing to disease occurrence, spread, and impact remain poorly understood. Ecosystem resilience has been linked to the conservation of functional diversity, whereas overfishing reduces functional diversity through cascading, top-down effects. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that reefs with trophically diverse reef fish communities have less coral disease than overfished reefs. We surveyed reefs across the central Philippines, including well-managed marine protected areas (MPAs), and found that disease prevalence was significantly negatively correlated with fish taxonomic diversity. Further, MPAs had significantly higher fish diversity and less disease than unprotected areas. We subsequently investigated potential links between coral disease and the trophic components of fish diversity, finding that only the density of coral-feeding chaetodontid butterflyfishes, seldom targeted by fishers, was positively associated with disease prevalence. These previously uncharacterized results are supported by a second large-scale dataset from the Great Barrier Reef. We hypothesize that members of the charismatic reef-fish family Chaetodontidae are major vectors of coral disease by virtue of their trophic specialization on hard corals and their ecological release in overfished areas, particularly outside MPAs.

  10. Protocol for Monitoring Fish Assemblages in Pacific Northwest National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenkman, Samuel J.; Connolly, Patrick J.

    2008-01-01

    Rivers and streams that drain from Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades National Parks are among the most protected corridors in the lower 48 States, and represent some of the largest tracts of contiguous, undisturbed habitat throughout the range of several key fish species of the Pacific Northwest. These watersheds are of high regional importance as freshwater habitat sanctuaries for native fish, where habitat conditions are characterized as having little to no disturbance from development, channelization, impervious surfaces, roads, diversions, or hydroelectric projects. Fishery resources are of high ecological and cultural importance in Pacific Northwest National Parks, and significantly contribute to economically important recreational, commercial, and tribal fisheries. This protocol describes procedures to monitor trends in fish assemblages, fish abundance, and water temperature in eight rivers and five wadeable streams in Olympic National Park during summer months, and is based on 4 years of field testing. Fish assemblages link freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. They also serve as focal resources of national parks and are excellent indicators of ecological conditions of rivers and streams. Despite the vital importance of native anadromous and resident fish populations, there is no existing monitoring program for fish assemblages in the North Coast and Cascades Network. Specific monitoring objectives of this protocol are to determine seasonal and annual trends in: (1) fish species composition, (2) timing of migration of adult fish, (3) relative abundance, (4) age and size structure, (5) extent of non-native and hatchery fish, and (6) water temperature. To detect seasonal and annual trends in fish assemblages in reference sites, we rely on repeated and consistent annual sampling at each monitoring site. The general rationale for the repeated sampling of reference sites is to ensure that we account for the high interannual variability in fish

  11. Colony geometry and structural complexity of the endangered species Acropora cervicornis partly explains the structure of their associated fish assemblage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agudo-Adriani, Esteban A; Cappelletto, Jose; Cavada-Blanco, Francoise; Croquer, Aldo

    2016-01-01

    In the past decade, significant efforts have been made to describe fish-habitat associations. However, most studies have oversimplified actual connections between fish assemblages and their habitats by using univariate correlations. The purpose of this study was to identify the features of habitat forming corals that facilitate and influences assemblages of associated species such as fishes. For this we developed three-dimensional models of colonies of Acropora cervicornis to estimate geometry (length and height), structural complexity (i.e., volume, density of branches, etc.) and biological features of the colonies (i.e., live coral tissue, algae). We then correlated these colony characteristics with the associated fish assemblage using multivariate analyses. We found that geometry and complexity were better predictors of the structure of fish community, compared to other variables such as percentage of live coral tissue or algae. Combined, the geometry of each colony explained 40% of the variability of the fish assemblage structure associated with this coral species; 61% of the abundance and 69% of fish richness, respectively. Our study shows that three-dimensional reconstructions of discrete colonies of Acropora cervicornis provides a useful description of the colonial structural complexity and may explain a great deal of the variance in the structure of the associated coral reef fish community. This demonstration of the strongly trait-dependent ecosystem role of this threatened species has important implications for restoration and conservation efforts.

  12. Colony geometry and structural complexity of the endangered species Acropora cervicornis partly explains the structure of their associated fish assemblage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esteban A. Agudo-Adriani

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available In the past decade, significant efforts have been made to describe fish-habitat associations. However, most studies have oversimplified actual connections between fish assemblages and their habitats by using univariate correlations. The purpose of this study was to identify the features of habitat forming corals that facilitate and influences assemblages of associated species such as fishes. For this we developed three-dimensional models of colonies of Acropora cervicornis to estimate geometry (length and height, structural complexity (i.e., volume, density of branches, etc. and biological features of the colonies (i.e., live coral tissue, algae. We then correlated these colony characteristics with the associated fish assemblage using multivariate analyses. We found that geometry and complexity were better predictors of the structure of fish community, compared to other variables such as percentage of live coral tissue or algae. Combined, the geometry of each colony explained 40% of the variability of the fish assemblage structure associated with this coral species; 61% of the abundance and 69% of fish richness, respectively. Our study shows that three-dimensional reconstructions of discrete colonies of Acropora cervicornis provides a useful description of the colonial structural complexity and may explain a great deal of the variance in the structure of the associated coral reef fish community. This demonstration of the strongly trait-dependent ecosystem role of this threatened species has important implications for restoration and conservation efforts.

  13. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Rapid Ecological Assessments of Fish Belt Transect Surveys (BLT) in the Pacific Ocean from 2000-09-09 to 2009-05-05 (NCEI Accession 0162462)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Belt transects (BLT) are a non-invasive underwater-survey method that enumerates the diverse components of diurnally active shallow-water reef fish assemblages. At...

  14. Seagrass Parameter Affect the Fish Assemblages in Karimunjawa Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sri Susilo, Endang; Nugroho Sugianto, Denny; Munasik; Nirwani; Adhi Suryono, Chrisna

    2018-02-01

    Seagrass beds promote high species diversity, abundance and biomass, and become important habitats for some economically important fishes. Plants of seagrasses result in structurally highly complex habitats and offering feeding grounds, shelter from predation as well as nursery areas for diverse fish assemblages. However, research on fish communities in Southeast Asian seagrass bed is rarely conducted. In the present study fish assemblages in seagrass beds with different parameters (cover, diversity and similarity indices, domination) was investigated in the Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia. The purpose of this study were to assess whether fish assemblages differ concerning on the abundance and the species number. This study was conducted on the seagrass bed on Karimunjawa Islands in Java Sea, particularly in the water of Menjangan Besar and Menjangan Kecil Island. Line-quadrant transect was used to assess seagrass data, while the occurrence and individual number of fish harboured in the selected seagrass bed was counted by using underwater visual census in the stationary point count transects. Seagrass cover in Menjangan Kecil Island (41%) with various canopy included both upper and lower canopy was considerable higher than those in Menjangan Besar Island (5%). Fish diversity, species composition and abundance are considerably different between the two study sites. This study revealed that seagrass density or cover and canopy structure affected the fish abundance and species number harboured.

  15. Relative and combined effects of habitat and fishing on reef fish communities across a limited fishing gradient at Ningaloo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Shaun K; Babcock, Russ C; Fisher, Rebecca; Holmes, Thomas H; Moore, James A Y; Thomson, Damian P

    2012-10-01

    Habitat degradation and fishing are major drivers of temporal and spatial changes in fish communities. The independent effects of these drivers are well documented, but the relative importance and interaction between fishing and habitat shifts is poorly understood, particularly in complex systems such as coral reefs. To assess the combined and relative effects of fishing and habitat we examined the composition of fish communities on patch reefs across a gradient of high to low structural complexity in fished and unfished areas of the Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia. Biomass and species richness of fish were positively correlated with structural complexity of reefs and negatively related to macroalgal cover. Total abundance of fish was also positively related to structural complexity, however this relationship was stronger on fished reefs than those where fishing is prohibited. The interaction between habitat condition and fishing pressure is primarily due to the high abundance of small bodied planktivorous fish on fished reefs. However, the influence of management zones on the abundance and biomass of predators and target species is small, implying spatial differences in fishing pressure are low and unlikely to be driving this interaction. Our results emphasise the importance of habitat in structuring reef fish communities on coral reefs especially when gradients in fishing pressure are low. The influence of fishing effort on this relationship may however become more important as fishing pressure increases. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 77 FR 56168 - Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Mexico Individual Fishing Quota Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-12

    .... 090206140-91081-03] RIN 0648-XC227 Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Mexico Individual... red snapper and grouper/tilefish components of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), the... INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for Reef...

  17. A diverse assemblage of reef corals thriving in a dynamic intertidal reef setting (Bonaparte Archipelago, Kimberley, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe T Richards

    Full Text Available The susceptibility of reef-building corals to climatic anomalies is well documented and a cause of great concern for the future of coral reefs. Reef corals are normally considered to tolerate only a narrow range of climatic conditions with only a small number of species considered heat-tolerant. Occasionally however, corals can be seen thriving in unusually harsh reef settings and these are cause for some optimism about the future of coral reefs. Here we document for the first time a diverse assemblage of 225 species of hard corals occurring in the intertidal zone of the Bonaparte Archipelago, north western Australia. We compare the environmental conditions at our study site (tidal regime, SST and level of turbidity with those experienced at four other more typical tropical reef locations with similar levels of diversity. Physical extremes in the Bonaparte Archipelago include tidal oscillations of up to 8 m, long subaerial exposure times (>3.5 hrs, prolonged exposure to high SST and fluctuating turbidity levels. We conclude the timing of low tide in the coolest parts of the day ameliorates the severity of subaerial exposure, and the combination of strong currents and a naturally high sediment regime helps to offset light and heat stress. The low level of anthropogenic impact and proximity to the Indo-west Pacific centre of diversity are likely to further promote resistance and resilience in this community. This assemblage provides an indication of what corals may have existed in other nearshore locations in the past prior to widespread coastal development, eutrophication, coral predator and disease outbreaks and coral bleaching events. Our results call for a re-evaluation of what conditions are optimal for coral survival, and the Bonaparte intertidal community presents an ideal model system for exploring how species resilience is conferred in the absence of confounding factors such as pollution.

  18. Mesopredator trophodynamics on thermally stressed coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempson, Tessa N.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; Hoey, Andrew S.; Almany, Glenn R.

    2018-03-01

    Ecosystems are becoming vastly modified through disturbance. In coral reef ecosystems, the differential susceptibility of coral taxa to climate-driven bleaching is predicted to shift coral assemblages towards reefs with an increased relative abundance of taxa with high thermal tolerance. Many thermally tolerant coral species are characterised by low structural complexity, with reduced habitat niche space for the small-bodied coral reef fishes on which piscivorous mesopredators feed. This study used a patch reef array to investigate the potential impacts of climate-driven shifts in coral assemblages on the trophodynamics of reef mesopredators and their prey communities. The `tolerant' reef treatment consisted only of coral taxa of low susceptibility to bleaching, while `vulnerable' reefs included species of moderate to high thermal vulnerability. `Vulnerable' reefs had higher structural complexity, and the fish assemblages that established on these reefs over 18 months had higher species diversity, abundance and biomass than those on `tolerant' reefs. Fish assemblages on `tolerant' reefs were also more strongly influenced by the introduction of a mesopredator ( Cephalopholis boenak). Mesopredators on `tolerant' reefs had lower lipid content in their muscle tissue by the end of the 6-week experiment. Such sublethal energetic costs can compromise growth, fecundity, and survivorship, resulting in unexpected population declines in long-lived mesopredators. This study provides valuable insight into the altered trophodynamics of future coral reef ecosystems, highlighting the potentially increased vulnerability of reef fish assemblages to predation as reef structure declines, and the cost of changing prey availability on mesopredator condition.

  19. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: an assessment of coral reef fishes in the US Pacific Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zgliczynski, B. J.; Williams, I. D.; Schroeder, R. E.; Nadon, M. O.; Richards, B. L.; Sandin, S. A.

    2013-09-01

    Widespread declines among many coral reef fisheries have led scientists and managers to become increasingly concerned over the extinction risk facing some species. To aid in assessing the extinction risks facing coral reef fishes, large-scale censuses of the abundance and distribution of individual species are critically important. We use fisheries-independent data collected as part of the NOAA Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program from 2000 to 2009 to describe the range and density across the US Pacific of coral reef fishes included on The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) 2011 Red List of Threatened Species. Forty-five species, including sharks, rays, groupers, humphead wrasse ( Cheilinus undulatus), and bumphead parrotfish ( Bolbometopon muricatum), included on the IUCN List, were recorded in the US Pacific Islands. Most species were generally rare in the US Pacific with the exception of a few species, principally small groupers and reef sharks. The greatest diversity and densities of IUCN-listed fishes were recorded at remote and uninhabited islands of the Pacific Remote Island Areas; in general, lower densities were observed at reefs of inhabited islands. Our findings complement IUCN assessment efforts, emphasize the efficacy of large-scale assessment and monitoring efforts in providing quantitative data on reef fish assemblages, and highlight the importance of protecting populations at remote and uninhabited islands where some species included on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species can be observed in abundance.

  20. Inter-habitat variation in density and size composition of reef fishes from the Cuban Northwestern shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Consuelo; González-Sansón, Gaspar; Cabrera, Yureidy; Ruiz, Alexei; Curry, R Allen

    2014-06-01

    Movement and exchange of individuals among habitats is critical for the dynamics and success of reef fish populations. Size segregation among habitats could be taken as evidence for habitat connectivity, and this would be a first step to formulate hypotheses about ontogenetic inter-habitat migrations. The primary goal of our research was to find evidence of inter-habitat differences in size distributions and density of reef fish species that can be classified a priori as habitat-shifters in an extensive (-600km2) Caribbean shelf area in NW Cuba. We sampled the fish assemblage of selected species using visual census (stationary and transect methods) in 20 stations (sites) located in mangrove roots, patch reefs, inner zone of the crest and fore reef (12-16m depth). In each site, we performed ten censuses for every habitat type in June and September 2009. A total of 11 507 individuals of 34 species were counted in a total of 400 censuses. We found significant differences in densities and size compositions among reef and mangrove habitats, supporting the species-specific use of coastal habitats. Adults were found in all habitats. Reef habitats, mainly patch reefs, seem to be most important for juvenile fish of most species. Mangroves were especially important for two species of snappers (Lutjanus apodus and L. griseus), providing habitat for juveniles. These species also displayed well defined gradients in length composition across the shelf.

  1. Depth as an organizer of fish assemblages in floodplain lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, L.E.

    2011-01-01

    Depth reduction is a natural process in floodplain lakes, but in many basins has been accelerated by anthropogenic disturbances. A diverse set of 42 floodplain lakes in the Yazoo River Basin (Mississippi, USA) was examined to test the hypothesis of whether depth reduction was a key determinant of water quality and fish assemblage structure. Single and multiple variable analyses were applied to 10 commonly monitored water variables and 54 fish species. Results showed strong associations between depth and water characteristics, and between depth and fish assemblages. Deep lakes provided less variable environments, clearer water, and a wider range of microhabitats than shallow lakes. The greater environmental stability was reflected by the dominant species in the assemblages, which included a broader representation of large-body species, species less tolerant of extreme water quality, and more predators. Stability in deep lakes was further reflected by reduced among-lake variability in taxa representation. Fish assemblages in shallow lakes were more variable than deep lakes, and commonly dominated by opportunistic species that have early maturity, extended breeding seasons, small adult size, and short lifespan. Depth is a causal factor that drives many physical and chemical variables that contribute to organizing fish assemblages in floodplain lakes. Thus, correlations between fish and water transparency, temperature, oxygen, trophic state, habitat structure, and other environmental descriptors may ultimately be totally or partly regulated by depth. In basins undergoing rapid anthropogenic modifications, local changes forced by depth reductions may be expected to eliminate species available from the regional pool and could have considerable ecological implications. ?? 2010 Springer Basel AG (outside the USA).

  2. Seasonal dynamics of fish assemblage in a pond canal

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Musil, J.; Adámek, Zdeněk; Baranyi, Ch.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 3-4 (2007), s. 217-226 ISSN 0967-6120. [New Challenges in Pond Aquaculture. České Budějovice, 26.04.2005-28.04.2005] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : fish assemblage * pond canal * species richness * seasonal dynamics * alien species Subject RIV: GL - Fishing Impact factor: 0.828, year: 2007

  3. How complementary are epibenthic assemblages in artificial and nearby natural rocky reefs?

    KAUST Repository

    Carvalho, Susana

    2013-12-01

    The present study analyses the composition, structure and trophic function of epibenthic assemblages in two artificial reefs (ARs) 16 years after deployment and in nearby natural reefs (NRs), aiming at providing insights on the complementarity between both habitats. Current findings suggest that after 16 years the ARs (concrete blocks), located in southern Portugal, do not act as surrogates for NRs, as epibenthic assemblages differed between reef types in composition, structure and trophic function. NRs showed higher diversity and complementarity (i.e. beta-diversity) than ARs, evidencing higher redundancy. Higher heterogeneity within NRs was also evidenced by the multi-dimensional scaling analysis based on abundance, biomass and trophic composition. NRs presented higher abundance of molluscs and biomass of sponges, resulting in differences in the trophic function: suspension-feeding dominated the NRs, while within ARs there was an ascendency of carnivory. Although not acting as surrogates for NRs and provided that no adverse effects (e.g. establishment of non-native species) were detected, ARs may have a significant contribution for the increase of regional diversity, as evidenced by the highest complementarity levels observed between assemblages in both reefs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  4. How complementary are epibenthic assemblages in artificial and nearby natural rocky reefs?

    KAUST Repository

    Carvalho, Susana; Moura, Ana; Cú rdia, Joã o; Cancela da Fonseca, Luí s; Santos, Miguel N.

    2013-01-01

    The present study analyses the composition, structure and trophic function of epibenthic assemblages in two artificial reefs (ARs) 16 years after deployment and in nearby natural reefs (NRs), aiming at providing insights on the complementarity between both habitats. Current findings suggest that after 16 years the ARs (concrete blocks), located in southern Portugal, do not act as surrogates for NRs, as epibenthic assemblages differed between reef types in composition, structure and trophic function. NRs showed higher diversity and complementarity (i.e. beta-diversity) than ARs, evidencing higher redundancy. Higher heterogeneity within NRs was also evidenced by the multi-dimensional scaling analysis based on abundance, biomass and trophic composition. NRs presented higher abundance of molluscs and biomass of sponges, resulting in differences in the trophic function: suspension-feeding dominated the NRs, while within ARs there was an ascendency of carnivory. Although not acting as surrogates for NRs and provided that no adverse effects (e.g. establishment of non-native species) were detected, ARs may have a significant contribution for the increase of regional diversity, as evidenced by the highest complementarity levels observed between assemblages in both reefs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Contrasting responses of coral reef fauna and foraminiferal assemblages to human influence in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reef biota including stony corals, sponges, gorgonians, fish, benthic macroinvertebrates and foraminifera were surveyed in coastal waters near La Parguera, in southwestern Puerto Rico. The goal was to evaluate sensitivity of coral reef biological indicators to human distur...

  6. 78 FR 66683 - Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-06

    ... the Western Pacific; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries... special coral reef ecosystem fishing permit. SUMMARY: NMFS issued a Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit that authorizes Kampachi Farms, LLC, to culture and harvest a coral reef ecosystem management unit...

  7. Disease outbreaks, bleaching and a cyclone drive changes in coral assemblages on an inshore reef of the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haapkylä, J.; Melbourne-Thomas, J.; Flavell, M.; Willis, B. L.

    2013-09-01

    Coral disease is a major threat to the resilience of coral reefs; thus, understanding linkages between disease outbreaks and disturbances predicted to increase with climate change is becoming increasingly important. Coral disease surveys conducted twice yearly between 2008 and 2011 at a turbid inshore reef in the central Great Barrier Reef spanned two disturbance events, a coral bleaching event in 2009 and a severe cyclone (cyclone `Yasi') in 2011. Surveys of coral cover, community structure and disease prevalence throughout this 4-yr study provide a unique opportunity to explore cumulative impacts of disturbance events and disease for inshore coral assemblages. The principal coral disease at the study site was atramentous necrosis (AtN), and it primarily affected the key inshore, reef-building coral Montipora aequituberculata. Other diseases detected were growth anomalies, white syndrome and brown band syndrome. Diseases affected eight coral genera, although Montipora was, by far, the genus mostly affected. The prevalence of AtN followed a clear seasonal pattern, with disease outbreaks occurring only in wet seasons. Mean prevalence of AtN on Montipora spp. (63.8 % ± 3.03) was three- to tenfold greater in the wet season of 2009, which coincided with the 2009 bleaching event, than in other years. Persistent wet season outbreaks of AtN combined with the impacts of bleaching and cyclone events resulted in a 50-80 % proportional decline in total coral cover. The greatest losses of branching and tabular acroporids occurred following the low-salinity-induced bleaching event of 2009, and the greatest losses of laminar montiporids occurred following AtN outbreaks in 2009 and in 2011 following cyclone Yasi. The shift to a less diverse coral assemblage and the concomitant loss of structural complexity are likely to have long-term consequences for associated vertebrate and invertebrate communities on Magnetic Island reefs.

  8. Reef odor: a wake up call for navigation in reef fish larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire B Paris

    Full Text Available The behavior of reef fish larvae, equipped with a complex toolbox of sensory apparatus, has become a central issue in understanding their transport in the ocean. In this study pelagic reef fish larvae were monitored using an unmanned open-ocean tracking device, the drifting in-situ chamber (DISC, deployed sequentially in oceanic waters and in reef-born odor plumes propagating offshore with the ebb flow. A total of 83 larvae of two taxonomic groups of the families Pomacentridae and Apogonidae were observed in the two water masses around One Tree Island, southern Great Barrier Reef. The study provides the first in-situ evidence that pelagic reef fish larvae discriminate reef odor and respond by changing their swimming speed and direction. It concludes that reef fish larvae smell the presence of coral reefs from several kilometers offshore and this odor is a primary component of their navigational system and activates other directional sensory cues. The two families expressed differences in their response that could be adapted to maintain a position close to the reef. In particular, damselfish larvae embedded in the odor plume detected the location of the reef crest and swam westward and parallel to shore on both sides of the island. This study underlines the critical importance of in situ Lagrangian observations to provide unique information on larval fish behavioral decisions. From an ecological perspective the central role of olfactory signals in marine population connectivity raises concerns about the effects of pollution and acidification of oceans, which can alter chemical cues and olfactory responses.

  9. DIVERSITY OF REEF FISH FUNGSIONAL GROUPS IN TERMS OF CORAL REEF RESILIENCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isa Nagib edrus

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Infrastructure development in the particular sites of  Seribu Islands as well as those in main land of Jakarta City increased with coastal population this phenomenon is likely to increase the effects to the adjacent coral waters of Seribu Islands.  Chemical pollutants, sedimentation, and domestic wastes are the common impact and threatening, the survival of coral reef ecosystem. Coral reef resiliences naturaly remained on their processes under many influences of supporting factors. One of the major factor is the role of reef fish functional groups on controling algae growth to recolonize coral juveniles. The  aim of this study to obtain data of a herbivory and other fish functional groups of reef fishes in the Pari Islands that are resilience indicators, or that may indicate the effectiveness of management actions. A conventional scientific approach on fish diversity and abundance data gathering was conducted by the underwater visual cencus. Diversity values of the reef fish functional groups, such as the abundance of individual fish including species, were collected and tabulated by classes and weighted as a baseline to understand the resilience of coral reed based on Obura and Grimsditch (2009 techniques. The results succesfully identified several fish functional groups such as harbivores (21 species, carnivores (13 species and fish indicator (5 species occurred in the area. Regarding the aspects of fish density and its diversity, especially herbivorous fish functional group, were presumably in the state of rarely available to support the coral reef resiliences. Resilience indices ranged from 1 (low level to 3 (moderate level and averages of the quality levels ranged from 227 to 674. These levels were inadequate to support coral reef recolonization.

  10. Community Structure Of Reef Fish In Eastern Luwu Water Territory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henny Tribuana Cinnawara

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract One bio-indicators the condition of coral reefs is a presence of reef fish. The purpose of research is to determine species composition abundance distribution and structure of reef fish communities in these waters. Data collection was conducted in April at six locations in the north and the south eastern Luwu. Mechanical Underwater Visual Cencus UVC and transect method Line intercept Transec LIT with SCUBA equipment used for research data collection. Total reef fish species collected as many as 366 species belonging to 31 families consisting of 150 species of fish target fish consumption 10 species of indicator fish indicator species 206 types of major fissh. The most dominant indicator type of fish is Chaetodon octofasciatus while the major dominant family Pomacentridae Labridae and Apogonidae. Diversity index values ranged from 2.145 to 3.408. Dominance index C is in the range of 0.056 to 0.298. The result is expected to be a reference literature as basic data for the management of reef fish especially in the waters of eastern Luwu.

  11. The importance of spatial fishing behavior for coral reef resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rassweiler, A.; Lauer, M.; Holbrook, S. J.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs are dynamic systems in which disturbances periodically reduce coral cover but are normally followed by recovery of the coral community. However, human activity may have reduced this resilience to disturbance in many coral reef systems, as an increasing number of reefs have undergone persistent transitions from coral-dominated to macroalgal-dominated community states. Fishing on herbivores may be one cause of reduced reef resilience, as lower herbivory can make it easier for macroalgae to become established after a disturbance. Despite the acknowledged importance of fishing, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential for feedbacks between ecosystem state and fisher behavior. Here we couple methods from environmental anthropology and ecology to explore these feedbacks between small-scale fisheries and coral reefs in Moorea, French Polynesia. We document how aspects of ecological state such as the abundance of macroalgae affect people's preference for fishing in particular lagoon habitats. We then incorporate biases towards fishing in certain ecological states into a spatially explicit bio-economic model of ecological dynamics and fishing in Moorea's lagoons. We find that feedbacks between spatial fishing behavior and ecological state can have critical effects on coral reefs. Presence of these spatial behaviors consistently leads to more coherence across the reef-scape. However, whether this coherence manifests as increased resilience or increased fragility depends on the spatial scales of fisher movement and the magnitudes of disturbance. These results emphasize the potential importance of spatially-explicit fishing behavior for reef resilience, but also the complexity of the feedbacks involved.

  12. Spatial patterns of cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, Darren J.; DiBattista, Joseph D.; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2018-03-01

    Surveys to document coral-reef fish assemblages are often limited to visually conspicuous species, thus excluding a significant proportion of the biodiversity. Through standardized collections of cryptobenthic reef fishes in the central and southern Red Sea, a total of 238 species and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 35 families were collected. Abundance and species richness increased by 60 and 30%, respectively, from north to south, and fish community composition differed between the two regions and with proximity to shore in the central region. Models suggest regional influences in fish communities, with latitudinal patterns influenced by key coral groups ( Acropora, Pocilloporidae) and variation in environmental parameters (chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, salinity). This study illustrates the limited taxonomic resolution in this group and in this region, and the need to expand baseline data for this under-studied assemblage. To assist in advancing this initiative, we have produced a catalogue of specimens, archived photographs, and established a DNA sequence library based on cytochrome-c oxidase subunit-I barcodes for all OTUs.

  13. Spatial patterns of cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James; DiBattista, Joseph; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Surveys to document coral-reef fish assemblages are often limited to visually conspicuous species, thus excluding a significant proportion of the biodiversity. Through standardized collections of cryptobenthic reef fishes in the central and southern Red Sea, a total of 238 species and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 35 families were collected. Abundance and species richness increased by 60 and 30%, respectively, from north to south, and fish community composition differed between the two regions and with proximity to shore in the central region. Models suggest regional influences in fish communities, with latitudinal patterns influenced by key coral groups (Acropora, Pocilloporidae) and variation in environmental parameters (chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, salinity). This study illustrates the limited taxonomic resolution in this group and in this region, and the need to expand baseline data for this under-studied assemblage. To assist in advancing this initiative, we have produced a catalogue of specimens, archived photographs, and established a DNA sequence library based on cytochrome-c oxidase subunit-I barcodes for all OTUs.

  14. Spatial patterns of cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James

    2017-11-23

    Surveys to document coral-reef fish assemblages are often limited to visually conspicuous species, thus excluding a significant proportion of the biodiversity. Through standardized collections of cryptobenthic reef fishes in the central and southern Red Sea, a total of 238 species and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 35 families were collected. Abundance and species richness increased by 60 and 30%, respectively, from north to south, and fish community composition differed between the two regions and with proximity to shore in the central region. Models suggest regional influences in fish communities, with latitudinal patterns influenced by key coral groups (Acropora, Pocilloporidae) and variation in environmental parameters (chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, salinity). This study illustrates the limited taxonomic resolution in this group and in this region, and the need to expand baseline data for this under-studied assemblage. To assist in advancing this initiative, we have produced a catalogue of specimens, archived photographs, and established a DNA sequence library based on cytochrome-c oxidase subunit-I barcodes for all OTUs.

  15. Natural and human-induced variability in the composition of fish assemblages in the Northwestern Cuban shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Sansón, Gaspar; Aguilar, Consuelo; Hernández, Ivet; Cabrera, Yureidy; Suarez-Montes, Noelis; Bretos, Fernando; Guggenheim, David

    2009-09-01

    The main goal of the study was to obtain field data to build a baseline of fish assemblage composition that can be used comparatively for future analyses of the impact of human actions in the region. A basic network of 68 sampling stations was defined for the entire region (4,050 km2). Fish assemblage species and size composition was estimated using visual census methods at three different spatial scales: a) entire region, b) inside the main reef area and c) along a human impact coastal gradient. Multivariate numerical analyses revealed habitat type as the main factor inducing spatial variability of fish community composition, while the level of human impact appears to play the main role in fish assemblage composition changes along the coast. A trend of decreasing fish size toward the east supports the theory of more severe human impact due to overfishing and higher urban pollution in that direction. This is the first detailed study along the northwest coast of Cuba that focuses on fish community structure and the natural and human-induced variations at different spatial scales for the entire NW shelf. This research also provides input for a more comprehensive understanding of coastal marine fish communities' status in the Gulf of Mexico basin.

  16. Constraints on the diversity and distribution of coral-reef assemblages in the volcanic Northern Mariana Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houk, P.; Starmer, J.

    2010-03-01

    A central problem for jurisdictional scientists and managers is to reconcile how multiple environmental regimes, encompassing continuous, intermittent and human disturbances, influence pertinent ecological management targets. The presence of heterogeneous environments throughout the volcanic Northern Mariana Islands (NMI), coupled with the availability of descriptive physical data, form the basis examining environmental-ecological relationships. Since 2003, coral abundances and macrobiota (all visibly recognizable taxa greater than 2 cm) occurrences have been estimated at 42 reef slopes along the volcanic archipelago. Analyses showed that reef types acted as surrogates of coral growth capacity and the modern assemblages residing upon them, being highest and most favorable, respectively, where relatively high salinity levels, low-to-moderate wave exposure, and an absence of volcanic activity for ~90 years existed. However, island size was the greatest constraint on species richness overall, but relations with corals were dampened by volcanic activity and increased for sponges and algae where greater connection with the island aquifer existed (i.e., relatively low salinity levels). The number of years since volcanic activity has occurred was positively related to the residuals of species-area relationships and coral cover, with a ~90-year time frame predicted for recovery. Notably, no relationships with watershed characteristics or distance from CNMI’s main fishing port and coral-reef assemblages or species richness were found. Further examination of specific management concerns, such as fisheries and feral animal populations, should be designed to account for the inherent differences in driving environmental regimes. Management strategies focused upon conserving biodiversity and ecosystem function should be centered at the island level, matching the operational scale of dominant environmental-ecological relationships. Marine reserves represent a strategy pertinent

  17. Characterizing lentic freshwater fish assemblages using multiple sampling methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Jesse R.; Quist, Michael C.

    2014-01-01

    Characterizing fish assemblages in lentic ecosystems is difficult, and multiple sampling methods are almost always necessary to gain reliable estimates of indices such as species richness. However, most research focused on lentic fish sampling methodology has targeted recreationally important species, and little to no information is available regarding the influence of multiple methods and timing (i.e., temporal variation) on characterizing entire fish assemblages. Therefore, six lakes and impoundments (48–1,557 ha surface area) were sampled seasonally with seven gear types to evaluate the combined influence of sampling methods and timing on the number of species and individuals sampled. Probabilities of detection for species indicated strong selectivities and seasonal trends that provide guidance on optimal seasons to use gears when targeting multiple species. The evaluation of species richness and number of individuals sampled using multiple gear combinations demonstrated that appreciable benefits over relatively few gears (e.g., to four) used in optimal seasons were not present. Specifically, over 90 % of the species encountered with all gear types and season combinations (N = 19) from six lakes and reservoirs were sampled with nighttime boat electrofishing in the fall and benthic trawling, modified-fyke, and mini-fyke netting during the summer. Our results indicated that the characterization of lentic fish assemblages was highly influenced by the selection of sampling gears and seasons, but did not appear to be influenced by waterbody type (i.e., natural lake, impoundment). The standardization of data collected with multiple methods and seasons to account for bias is imperative to monitoring of lentic ecosystems and will provide researchers with increased reliability in their interpretations and decisions made using information on lentic fish assemblages.

  18. Fish-derived nutrient hotspots shape coral reef benthic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shantz, Andrew A; Ladd, Mark C; Schrack, Elizabeth; Burkepile, Deron E

    2015-12-01

    Animal-derived nutrients play an important role in structuring nutrient regimes within and between ecosystems. When animals undergo repetitive, aggregating behavior through time, they can create nutrient hotspots where rates of biogeochemical activity are higher than those found in the surrounding environment. In turn, these hotspots can influence ecosystem processes and community structure. We examined the potential for reef fishes from the family Haemulidae (grunts) to create nutrient hotspots and the potential impact of these hotspots on reef communities. To do so, we tracked the schooling locations of diurnally migrating grunts, which shelter at reef sites during the day but forage off reef each night, and measured the impact of these fish schools on benthic communities. We found that grunt schools showed a high degree of site fidelity, repeatedly returning to the same coral heads. These aggregations created nutrient hotspots around coral heads where nitrogen and phosphorus delivery was roughly 10 and 7 times the respective rates of delivery to structurally similar sites that lacked schools of these fishes. In turn, grazing rates of herbivorous fishes at grunt-derived hotspots were approximately 3 times those of sites where grunts were rare. These differences in nutrient delivery and grazing led to distinct benthic communities with higher cover of crustose coralline algae and less total algal abundance at grunt aggregation sites. Importantly, coral growth was roughly 1.5 times greater at grunt hotspots, likely due to the important nutrient subsidy. Our results suggest that schooling reef fish and their nutrient subsidies play an important role in mediating community structure on coral reefs and that overfishing may have important negative consequences on ecosystem functions. As such, management strategies must consider mesopredatory fishes in addition to current protection often offered to herbivores and top-tier predators. Furthermore, our results suggest that

  19. Challenges of transferring models of fish abundance between coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequeira, Ana M M; Mellin, Camille; Lozano-Montes, Hector M; Meeuwig, Jessica J; Vanderklift, Mathew A; Haywood, Michael D E; Babcock, Russell C; Caley, M Julian

    2018-01-01

    Reliable abundance estimates for species are fundamental in ecology, fisheries, and conservation. Consequently, predictive models able to provide reliable estimates for un- or poorly-surveyed locations would prove a valuable tool for management. Based on commonly used environmental and physical predictors, we developed predictive models of total fish abundance and of abundance by fish family for ten representative taxonomic families for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) using multiple temporal scenarios. We then tested if models developed for the GBR (reference system) could predict fish abundances at Ningaloo Reef (NR; target system), i.e., if these GBR models could be successfully transferred to NR. Models of abundance by fish family resulted in improved performance (e.g., 44.1% fish abundance (9% fish species richness from the GBR to NR, transferability for these fish abundance models was poor. When compared with observations of fish abundance collected in NR, our transferability results had low validation scores ( R 2   0.05). High spatio-temporal variability of patterns in fish abundance at the family and population levels in both reef systems likely affected the transferability of these models. Inclusion of additional predictors with potential direct effects on abundance, such as local fishing effort or topographic complexity, may improve transferability of fish abundance models. However, observations of these local-scale predictors are often not available, and might thereby hinder studies on model transferability and its usefulness for conservation planning and management.

  20. Lake Superior Coastal Wetland Fish Assemblages and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The role of the coastal margin and the watershed context in defining the ecology of even very large lakes is increasingly being recognized and examined. Coastal wetlands are both important contributors to the biodiversity and productivity of large lakes and important mediators of the lake-basin connection. We explored wetland-watershed connections and their relationship to wetland function and condition using data collected from 37 Lake Superior wetlands spanning a substantial geographic and geomorphic gradient. While none of these wetlands are particularly disturbed, there were nevertheless clear relationships between watershed landuse and wetland habitat and biota, and these varied consistently across wetland type categories that reflected the strength of connection to the watershed. For example, water clarity and vegetation structure complexity declined with decreasing percent natural land cover, and these effects were strongest in riverine wetlands (having generally large watersheds and tributary-dominated hydrology) and weakest in lagoon wetlands (having generally small watersheds and lake-dominate hydrology). Fish abundance and species richness both increased with decreasing percent natural land cover while species diversity decreased, and again the effect was strongest in riverine wetlands. Lagoonal wetlands, which lack any substantial tributary, consistently harbored the fewest species of fish and a composition different from the more watershed-lin

  1. Individual variation in habitat use in two stream fish assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Luisa Resende Manna; Carla Ferreira Rezende

    2015-01-01

    The habitat use is an individual choice that is influenced by physical conditions such as substrate type, food resources availability and adequate depth. However, habitat use is often measured only through interspecific variability because intraspecific variability is supposed to be low. Here, the differences in habitat use by two stream fish assemblages in two different environments (Brazilian rainforest and semiarid) were investigated at both interspecific and intraspecific levels. We perfo...

  2. Temporal variation in fish assemblage composition on a tidal flat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry L. Spach

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available Annual variation in the fish assemblage characteristics on a tidal flat was studied in coastal Paraná, in southern Brazil. Fish were collected between August 1998 and July 1999, during the diurnal high tide and diurnal and nocturnal low tide of the syzygial (full moon and quadrature (waning moon tides, to characterize temporal change in assemblage composition. A total of 64,265 fish in 133 species were collected. The average number of species and individuals, biomass, species richness, diversity (mass and equitability varied significantly over time . The dissimilarity of the assemblage was greatest in August, September and October in contrast with the period from November to January, with the lowest dissimilarity. The combined action of water temperature, salinity and wind intensity had a great influence over the structure of the fish assemblage.Os peixes de uma planície de maré da praia Balneário de Pontal do Sul, Paraná, foram coletados, na preamar diurna e na baixa-mar diurna e noturna das marés de sizígia e de quadratura, visando caracterizar as mudanças temporais entre agosto de 1998 e julho de 1999. As coletas totalizaram 64.265 peixes de 133 espécies. Foram observadas diferenças significativas na captura média em número de espécies e de peixes, peso total e nos índices de riqueza, diversidade (H' peso e eqüitatividade entre os meses de coleta. A dissimilaridade da ictiofauna foi maior entre os meses de agosto, setembro e outubro em comparação com o período de novembro a janeiro. A ação combinada da temperatura da água, salinidade e intensidade do vento, influenciaram mais sobre a estrutura da assembléia de peixes.

  3. Phylogenetic community structure: temporal variation in fish assemblage

    OpenAIRE

    Santorelli, Sergio; Magnusson, William; Ferreira, Efrem; Caramaschi, Erica; Zuanon, Jansen; Amadio, Sidnéia

    2014-01-01

    Hypotheses about phylogenetic relationships among species allow inferences about the mechanisms that affect species coexistence. Nevertheless, most studies assume that phylogenetic patterns identified are stable over time. We used data on monthly samples of fish from a single lake over 10 years to show that the structure in phylogenetic assemblages varies over time and conclusions depend heavily on the time scale investigated. The data set was organized in guild structures and temporal scales...

  4. Comparing demersal fish assemblage between periods of contrasting climate and fishing pressure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofstede, ter R.; Rijnsdorp, A.D.

    2011-01-01

    Fish communities are dynamic and their structure is known to change over time. Traditionally, these changes were considered to be fisheries-induced, but recent analyses also suggest that global warming could affect the distribution, abundance, and assemblage composition of marine fish. However,

  5. Invasive lionfish preying on critically endangered reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Luiz A.; Rocha, Claudia R.; Baldwin, Carole C.; Weigt, Lee A.; McField, Melanie

    2015-09-01

    Caribbean coral reef ecosystems are at the forefront of a global decline and are now facing a new threat: elimination of vulnerable species by the invasive lionfish ( Pterois spp.). In addition to being threatened by habitat destruction and pollution, the critically endangered social wrasse ( Halichoeres socialis), endemic to Belize's inner barrier reef, has a combination of biological traits (small size, schooling, and hovering behavior) that makes it a target for the invasive lionfish. Based on stomach content analyses, this small fish comprises almost half of the lionfish diet at the inner barrier reef in Belize. The combination of lionfish predation, limited range, and ongoing habitat destruction makes the social wrasse the most threatened coral reef fish in the world. Other species with small range and similar traits occur elsewhere in the Caribbean and face similar risks.

  6. Presence of riparian vegetation increases biotic condition of fish assemblages in two Brazilian reservoirs

    OpenAIRE

    Ferreira, Fabio Cop; Souza, Ursulla Pereira; Petrere Junior2, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The riparian vegetation in lakes and reservoirs is source of course wood structures such as trunks and branches and is used as sheltering, spawning and foraging habitats for fishes. The reduction of these submerged structures can thus, affect the composition and structure of fish assemblages in reservoirs. Aim To evaluate the influence of riparian vegetation on the biotic condition of fish assemblage by adapting the Reservoir Fish Assemblage Index (RFAI) to two reservoirs in the Upp...

  7. Unexpected high vulnerability of functions in wilderness areas: evidence from coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigliola, Laurent; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Wantiez, Laurent; Parravicini, Valeriano; Villéger, Sébastien; Mou-Tham, Gerard; Frolla, Philippe; Friedlander, Alan M.; Kulbicki, Michel; Mouillot, David

    2016-01-01

    High species richness is thought to support the delivery of multiple ecosystem functions and services under changing environments. Yet, some species might perform unique functional roles while others are redundant. Thus, the benefits of high species richness in maintaining ecosystem functioning are uncertain if functions have little redundancy, potentially leading to high vulnerability of functions. We studied the natural propensity of assemblages to be functionally buffered against loss prior to fishing activities, using functional trait combinations, in coral reef fish assemblages across unfished wilderness areas of the Indo-Pacific: Chagos Archipelago, New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Fish functional diversity in these wilderness areas is highly vulnerable to fishing, explained by species- and abundance-based redundancy packed into a small combination of traits, leaving most other trait combinations (60%) sensitive to fishing, with no redundancy. Functional vulnerability peaks for mobile and sedentary top predators, and large species in general. Functional vulnerability decreases for certain functional entities in New Caledonia, where overall functional redundancy was higher. Uncovering these baseline patterns of functional vulnerability can offer early warning signals of the damaging effects from fishing, and may serve as baselines to guide precautionary and even proactive conservation actions. PMID:27928042

  8. A role for partially protected areas on coral reefs: Maintaining fish diversity?

    KAUST Repository

    Tyler, Elizabeth; Manica, Andrea; Jiddawi, Narriman S.; Speight, Martin R.

    2011-01-01

    1. Completely banning fishing from coral reefs is now accepted to have significant benefits for marine biodiversity and in many cases, fisheries. However, the benefits of regulating fishing on coral reefs, by restricting the methods used

  9. Predicting invertebrate assemblage composition from harvesting pressure and environmental characteristics on tropical reef flats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, H.; Dumas, P.; Ponton, D.; Ferraris, J.

    2012-03-01

    Invertebrates represent an essential component of coral reef ecosystems; they are ecologically important and a major resource, but their assemblages remain largely unknown, particularly on Pacific islands. Understanding their distribution and building predictive models of community composition as a function of environmental variables therefore constitutes a key issue for resource management. The goal of this study was to define and classify the main environmental factors influencing tropical invertebrate distributions in New Caledonian reef flats and to test the resulting predictive model. Invertebrate assemblages were sampled by visual counting during 2 years and 2 seasons, then coupled to different environmental conditions (habitat composition, hydrodynamics and sediment characteristics) and harvesting status (MPA vs. non-MPA and islets vs. coastal flats). Environmental conditions were described by a principal component analysis (PCA), and contributing variables were selected. Permutational analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) was used to test the effects of different factors (status, flat, year and season) on the invertebrate assemblage composition. Multivariate regression trees (MRT) were then used to hierarchically classify the effects of environmental and harvesting variables. MRT model explained at least 60% of the variation in structure of invertebrate communities. Results highlighted the influence of status (MPA vs. non-MPA) and location (islet vs. coastal flat), followed by habitat composition, organic matter content, hydrodynamics and sampling year. Predicted assemblages defined by indicator families were very different for each environment-exploitation scenario and correctly matched a calibration data matrix. Predictions from MRT including both environmental variables and harvesting pressure can be useful for management of invertebrates in coral reef environments.

  10. How could discharge management affect Florida spring fish assemblage structure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Kirsten; Codner, Keneil; Gibbs, Melissa

    2017-08-01

    Freshwater bodies are increasingly affected by reductions in water quantity and quality and by invasions of exotic species. To protect water quantity and maintain the ecological integrity of many water bodies in central Florida, a program of adopting Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs) has begun for both lentic and lotic waters. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there were relationships between discharge and stage, water quality, and biological parameters for Volusia Blue Spring, a first magnitude spring (discharge > 380,000 m 3 day -1 or 100 mgd) for which an MFL program was adopted in 2006. Over the course of fourteen years, we assessed fish density and diversity weekly, monthly, or seasonally with seine and snorkel counts. We evaluated annual changes in the assemblages for relationships with water quantity and quality. Low discharge and dissolved oxygen combined with high stage and conductivity produced a fish population with a lower density and diversity in 2014 than in previous years. Densities of fish taxonomic/functional groups also were low in 2014 and measures of water quantity were significant predictors of fish assemblage structure. As a result of the strong relationships between variation in discharge and an array of chemical and biological characteristics of the spring, we conclude that maintaining the historical discharge rate is important for preserving the ecological integrity of Volusia Blue Spring. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Restoration of a temperate reef: Effects on the fish community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Støttrup, Josianne; Stenberg, Claus; Dahl, Karsten

    2014-01-01

    Trindel in Kattegat, Denmark, has now been re-established with the aim of restoring the reef’s historical structure and function. The effects of the restoration on the local fish community are reported here. Fishing surveys using gillnets and fyke nets were conducted before the restoration (2007) and four...... years after the restoration of the reef (2012). Species of the family Labridae, which have a high affinity for rocky reefs, dominated both before and after the restoration. Commercially important species such as cod Gadus morhua, and saithe Pollachius virens, occurred infrequently in the catches in 2007....... The findings highlight the importance of reef habitats for fish communities and the need for their protection...

  12. Parasite infestation increases on coral reefs without cleaner fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grutter, A. S.; De Brauwer, M.; Bshary, R.; Cheney, K. L.; Cribb, T. H.; Madin, E. M. P.; McClure, E. C.; Meekan, M. G.; Sun, D.; Warner, R. R.; Werminghausen, J.; Sikkel, P. C.

    2018-03-01

    Mutualisms are pivotal in shaping ecological communities. Iconic images of cleaner fish entering the mouths of predatory fish clients to remove ectoparasites epitomize their mutual benefit. Experimental manipulations of cleaner wrasse reveal declines in fish size and growth, and population abundance and diversity of client fishes in the absence of cleaner wrasse. Fishes grow more slowly and are less abundant and diverse on reefs without cleaner wrasse, both for larger species that are regularly cleaned and have high ectoparasite loads ("attractive species"), and for those smaller species that are rarely cleaned and are rarely infested with parasites ("unattractive species"). We therefore considered whether these previously observed declines in individual and population parameters on reefs without cleaners were related to increased ectoparasite infestation using an attractive species ( Hemigymnus melapterus, Labridae) and an unattractive species ( Pomacentrus amboinensis, Pomacentridae). Traps with these fish as a form of bait were deployed to sample blood-sucking gnathiid ectoparasites (Gnathiidae: Isopoda) on reefs from which cleaners ( Labroides dimidiatus, Labridae) have been removed for 13 yr. Cleaner fish could not enter traps to access the clients/hosts, but gnathiids could enter the traps to infest hosts; thus, this method sampled the indirect effect of cleaners on gnathiid infestation of fish. Infestation was higher on reefs without cleaners than on those with them. The effect was only detected during the daytime when cleaners are active and only on the attractive species ( H. melapterus). Thus, cleaner presence indirectly reduced fish exposure to parasites in a species that is highly susceptible to parasites, but not in one that is rarely infested with parasites. This suggests that cleaner presence indirectly reduces exposure of a common fish species to harmful parasites, which may explain some observed benefits in fishes at this location.

  13. Correlation Between Existence of Reef Sharks with Abundance of Reef Fishes in South Waters of Morotai Island (North Moluccas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukharror, Darmawan Ahmad; Tiara Baiti, Isnaini; Ichsan, Muhammad; Pridina, Niomi; Triutami, Sanny

    2017-10-01

    Despite increasing academic research citation on biology, abundance, and the behavior of the blacktip reef sharks, the influence of reef fish population on the density of reef sharks: Carcharhinus melanopterus and Triaenodon obesus population in its habitat were largely unassessed. This present study examined the correlation between abundance of reef fishes family/species with the population of reef sharks in Southern Waters of Morotai Island. The existence of reef sharks was measured with the Audible Stationary Count (ASC) methods and the abundance of reef fishes was surveyed using Underwater Visual Census (UVC) combined with Diver Operated Video (DOV) census. The coefficient of Determination (R2) was used to investigate the degree of relationships between sharks and the specific reef fishes species. The research from 8th April to 4th June 2015 showed the strong positive correlations between the existence of reef sharks with abundance of reef fishes. The correlation values between Carcharhinus melanopterus/Triaenodon obesus with Chaetodon auriga was 0.9405, blacktip/whitetip reef sharks versus Ctenochaetus striatus was 0.9146, and Carcharhinus melanopterus/Triaenodon obesus to Chaetodon kleinii was 0.8440. As the shark can be worth more alive for shark diving tourism than dead in a fish market, the abundance of these reef fishes was important as an early indication parameter of shark existence in South Water of Morotai Island. In the long term, this highlights the importance of reef fishes abundance management in Morotai Island’s Waters to enable the establishment of appropriate and effective reef sharks conservation.

  14. 78 FR 49258 - Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-13

    ... the Western Pacific; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries... Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit that would authorize Kampachi Farms, LLC, to culture and harvest a coral reef ecosystem management unit fish species in a floating pen moored about 5.5 nm off the west coast of...

  15. The DNA of coral reef biodiversity: predicting and protecting genetic diversity of reef assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selkoe, Kimberly A; Gaggiotti, Oscar E; Treml, Eric A; Wren, Johanna L K; Donovan, Mary K; Toonen, Robert J

    2016-04-27

    Conservation of ecological communities requires deepening our understanding of genetic diversity patterns and drivers at community-wide scales. Here, we use seascape genetic analysis of a diversity metric, allelic richness (AR), for 47 reef species sampled across 13 Hawaiian Islands to empirically demonstrate that large reefs high in coral cover harbour the greatest genetic diversity on average. We found that a species's life history (e.g. depth range and herbivory) mediates response of genetic diversity to seascape drivers in logical ways. Furthermore, a metric of combined multi-species AR showed strong coupling to species richness and habitat area, quality and stability that few species showed individually. We hypothesize that macro-ecological forces and species interactions, by mediating species turnover and occupancy (and thus a site's mean effective population size), influence the aggregate genetic diversity of a site, potentially allowing it to behave as an apparent emergent trait that is shaped by the dominant seascape drivers. The results highlight inherent feedbacks between ecology and genetics, raise concern that genetic resilience of entire reef communities is compromised by factors that reduce coral cover or available habitat, including thermal stress, and provide a foundation for new strategies for monitoring and preserving biodiversity of entire reef ecosystems. © 2016 The Authors.

  16. Seasonal variability of morphospaces in a subtropical fish assemblage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Correia Siliprandi

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Morphological characters of fishes are essential to evaluate the functional structure of assemblages, being morphological differences indicative of distinct ecological and adaptive strategies. The ecomorphology using morphospaces analyzes the structure of a fish assemblage through the values of intervals between homologous points positioned in anatomical structures of organisms phylogenetically related. These intervals can be quantified by morphogeometric and multivariate analyses. Seasonally during 2013-2014, standardized images were obtained from fishes sampled in Araça Bay, São Sebastião District, Brazil, using nine fishing gears which were grouped to verify the species occurrence variation. Qualitative approach (presence/absence data was used to carry out morphological analyses. A total of 27 landmarks and semilandmarks with anatomical, ecological and taxonomical meaning were positioned in species images of the left profile. Consensus figures were made embedding the intraspecific variability. Uniform components of the shape variation (RWs were generated. To build morphospaces, the first eight RWs were considered (explain more than 95% of the total morphological variability and were defined using Convex Hull. The RWs were also used to calculate the Morphological Richness (MR, Morphological Disparity (MD and Morphogeometric Index (EMI. The MD indicates the morphospace size and showed greater values in summer (0.051 and winter (0.047 as MR, related to the higher number of species (MRsummer=7.93; MRwinter=8.65. During all the year, the Araça Bay presents high diversity of fishes. Nevertheless, winter and summer seasons reached the highest diversity, periods when horizontal mobile fishes with elongated shapes arrive to the region, implying an increase of morphological diversity and shape’s redundancy (represented by the lowest values of EMI: winter=0.120; summer=0.123.

  17. Impacts of fishing and environmental factors driving changes on littoral fish assemblages in a subtropical oceanic island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangil, Carlos; Martín-García, Laura; Hernández, José Carlos; Concepción, Laura; Fernández, Raúl; Clemente, Sabrina

    2013-08-01

    The structure of demersal fish assemblages of commercial interest was studied at 51 sites on La Palma Island (Canary Islands, northeastern Atlantic). On this island, demersal fish populations are limited and independent from other islands. As deep water separates the islands and the shallow sublittoral platforms are not continuous, adult inter-island migrations are not possible except between the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Otherwise, each island functions as a closed system, and the status of an island fish assemblage depends on local environmental conditions and activities performed in situ by the islanders. These circumstances provide a unique opportunity to test the intrainsular variability of fish assemblages. With this background, environmental parameters, fishing pressure and distance to the MPA were considered to identify the main factors explaining the spatial variation of fish assemblages off La Palma Island. Twenty-six fish species were recorded, but 60% of the total fish biomass was represented by only five species (Sparisoma cretense, Pomadasys incisus, Canthidermis sufflamen, Diplodus cervinus cervinus and Bodianus scrofa). However, the structure of assemblages was heterogeneous in response to different variables and showed substantial spatial variation. The assemblages were strongly modified by the presence of upright seaweed cover, fishing activities, and certain environmental variables. Differences were more pronounced in species that occupied the higher trophic levels. The most disturbed assemblages were those located in areas with lower upright seaweed cover and with higher fishing pressure, whereas the best-preserved assemblages corresponded to sites with controlled fishing activities, located within the MPA.

  18. Microhabitat Association of Cryptobenthic Reef Fishes (Teleostei: Gobiidae) in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Troyer, Emily

    2018-05-01

    Knowledge of biodiversity within an ecosystem is essential when trying to understand the function and importance of that ecosystem. A challenge when assessing biodiversity of reef habitats is cryptobenthic fishes, which encompass many groups that have close associations with the substrate. These fishes can be behaviorally cryptic, by seeking refuge within the reef matrix, or visually cryptic, using cryptic coloration to match the surrounding habitat. These factors make visual surveys inadequate for sampling these fishes. One such group of cryptobenthic fishes are the gobies, family Gobiidae, which currently represent over 1600 species, although new species are continually being discovered. Gobies are often small (less than 5 cm), and many species will be associated with a very specific microhabitat type. Due to the understudied nature of the Red Sea, little is known about habitat preferences of gobies within the region. In order to determine the differences in goby community structure within the central Red Sea, fishes were sampled at one reef using 1 m² enclosed rotenone stations from three distinct microhabitats: hard coral, rubble, and sand. Following collection, specimens were photographed and sequenced using COI, to aid in species identification. 232 individuals were collected representing 31 species of goby. Rubble microhabitats were found to host the majority of collected gobies (69%), followed by hard coral (20.6%), then sand (9.9%). Goby assemblages in the three microhabitats were significantly different from each other, and evidence of habitat-specialists was found. These results provide essential baseline information about the ecology of understudied cryptobenthic fishes that can be used in future large-scale studies in the Red Sea region.

  19. Life history theory predicts fish assemblage response to hydrologic regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mims, Meryl C; Olden, Julian D

    2012-01-01

    The hydrologic regime is regarded as the primary driver of freshwater ecosystems, structuring the physical habitat template, providing connectivity, framing biotic interactions, and ultimately selecting for specific life histories of aquatic organisms. In the present study, we tested ecological theory predicting directional relationships between major dimensions of the flow regime and life history composition of fish assemblages in perennial free-flowing rivers throughout the continental United States. Using long-term discharge records and fish trait and survey data for 109 stream locations, we found that 11 out of 18 relationships (61%) tested between the three life history strategies (opportunistic, periodic, and equilibrium) and six hydrologic metrics (two each describing flow variability, predictability, and seasonality) were statistically significant (P history strategies, with 82% of all significant relationships observed supporting predictions from life history theory. Specifically, we found that (1) opportunistic strategists were positively related to measures of flow variability and negatively related to predictability and seasonality, (2) periodic strategists were positively related to high flow seasonality and negatively related to variability, and (3) the equilibrium strategists were negatively related to flow variability and positively related to predictability. Our study provides important empirical evidence illustrating the value of using life history theory to understand both the patterns and processes by which fish assemblage structure is shaped by adaptation to natural regimes of variability, predictability, and seasonality of critical flow events over broad biogeographic scales.

  20. Molluscan subfossil assemblages reveal the long-term deterioration of coral reef environments in Caribbean Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, Katie L; Leonard-Pingel, Jill S; Rodríguez, Félix; Jackson, Jeremy B C

    2015-07-15

    Caribbean reef corals have declined sharply since the 1980s, but the lack of prior baseline data has hindered identification of drivers of change. To assess anthropogenic change in reef environments over the past century, we tracked the composition of subfossil assemblages of bivalve and gastropod mollusks excavated from pits below lagoonal and offshore reefs in Bocas del Toro, Panama. The higher prevalence of (a) infaunal suspension-feeding bivalves and herbivorous and omnivorous gastropods in lagoons and (b) epifaunal and suspension-feeding bivalves and carnivorous and suspension-feeding gastropods offshore reflected the greater influence of land-based nutrients/sediments within lagoons. Temporal changes indicated deteriorating environmental conditions pre-1960 in lagoons and post-1960 offshore, with offshore communities becoming more similar to lagoonal ones since 1960. Relative abundances of dominant bivalve species tracked those of their coral hosts, revealing broader ecosystem effects of coral community change. The nature and timing of changes implicate land-based runoff in reef deterioration. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Fish stomach contents in benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TH. Tupinambás

    for studies that only sample fish assemblages to evaluate aquatic ecosystem impacts. Therefore, this approach can be useful to amplify assessments of human impacts, and to incorporate additional bioindicators.

  2. Land use structures fish assemblages in reservoirs of the Tennessee River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Leandro E.; Bies, J. M.; Hann, D. A.

    2015-01-01

    Inputs of nutrients, sediments and detritus from catchments can promote selected components of reservoir fish assemblages, while hindering others. However, investigations linking these catchment subsidies to fish assemblages have generally focussed on one or a handful of species. Considering this paucity of community-level awareness, we sought to explore the association between land use and fish assemblage composition in reservoirs. To this end, we compared fish assemblages in reservoirs of two sub-basins of the Tennessee River representing differing intensities of agricultural development, and hypothesised that fish assemblage structure indicated by species percentage composition would differ among reservoirs in the two sub-basins. Using multivariate statistical analysis, we documented inter-basin differences in land use, reservoir productivity and fish assemblages, but no differences in reservoir morphometry or water regime. Basins were separated along a gradient of forested and non-forested catchment land cover, which was directly related to total nitrogen, total phosphorous and chlorophyll-a concentrations. Considering the extensive body of knowledge linking land use to aquatic systems, it is reasonable to postulate a hierarchical model in which productivity has direct links to terrestrial inputs, and fish assemblages have direct links to both land use and productivity. We observed a shift from an invertivore-based fish assemblage in forested catchments to a detritivore-based fish assemblage in agricultural catchments that may be a widespread pattern among reservoirs and other aquatic ecosystems.

  3. Coral reef fish populations can persist without immigration

    KAUST Repository

    Salles, Océ ane C.; Maynard, Jeffrey A.; Joannides, Marc; Barbu, Corentin M.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Almany, Glenn R.; Berumen, Michael L.; Thorrold, Simon R.; Jones, Geoffrey P.; Planes, Serge

    2015-01-01

    and this was stable through the sampling period. Stability in the proportion of local and immigrant settlers is likely due to: low annual mortality rates and stable egg production rates, and the short larval stages and sensory capacities of reef fish larvae. Biannual

  4. Comparison of Coral Reef Ecosystems along a Fishing Pressure Gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijerman, M.W.; Fulton, E.A.; Parrish, F.A.

    2013-01-01

    Three trophic mass-balance models representing coral reef ecosystems along a fishery gradient were compared to evaluate ecosystem effects of fishing. The majority of the biomass estimates came directly from a large-scale visual survey program; therefore, data were collected in the same way for all

  5. Drivers of larval fish assemblage shift during the spring-summer transition in the coastal Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez, Itziar; Catalán, Ignacio A.; Jordi, Antoni; Palmer, Miquel; Sabatés, Ana; Basterretxea, Gotzon

    2012-01-01

    The influence of coastal environmental conditions from winter-spring to summer on fish larvae assemblages in a temperate area has suggested a seasonal shift in ecosystem-level variation through which trophic pathways shift from the pelagic to the benthic system. This variation may be related to marked effects in the reproductive strategies in the fishes inhabiting the area and indirectly affect ichthyoplankton assemblages. Larval fish assemblages were sampled fortnightly at three stations located in coastal waters off southern Mallorca (Western Mediterranean) from March to August 2007, covering the main spawning period for the resident coastal fish in this region. The larval fish assemblage showed clear seasonality with higher specific abundance but lower diversity in the spring. Two main assemblages were identified: a spring assemblage, occurring at surface seawater temperatures ichthyoplankton communities occurred in early June, coinciding with the onset of summer hydrographical conditions and the local benthic productivity peak.

  6. Habitat degradation and fishing effects on the size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, S K; Fisher, R; Pratchett, M S; Graham, N A J; Dulvy, N K; Turner, R A; Cakacaka, A; Polunin, N V C

    2010-03-01

    Overfishing and habitat degradation through climate change pose the greatest threats to sustainability of marine resources on coral reefs. We examined how changes in fishing pressure and benthic habitat composition influenced the size spectra of island-scale reef fish communities in Lau, Fiji. Between 2000 and 2006 fishing pressure declined in the Lau Islands due to declining human populations and reduced demand for fresh fish. At the same time, coral cover declined and fine-scale architectural complexity eroded due to coral bleaching and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. We examined the size distribution of reef fish communities using size spectra analysis, the linearized relationship between abundance and body size class. Spatial variation in fishing pressure accounted for 31% of the variation in the slope of the size spectra in 2000, higher fishing pressure being associated with a steeper slope, which is indicative of fewer large-bodied fish and/or more small-bodied fish. Conversely, in 2006 spatial variation in habitat explained 53% of the variation in the size spectra slopes, and the relationship with fishing pressure was much weaker (approximately 12% of variation) than in 2000. Reduced cover of corals and lower structural complexity was associated with less steep size spectra slopes, primarily due to reduced abundance of fish < 20 cm. Habitat degradation will compound effects of fishing on coral reefs as increased fishing reduces large-bodied target species, while habitat loss results in fewer small-bodied juveniles and prey that replenish stocks and provide dietary resources for predatory target species. Effective management of reef resources therefore depends on both reducing fishing pressure and maintaining processes that encourage rapid recovery of coral habitat.

  7. Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J Emmett; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Navarrete, Sergio A; Edgar, Graham J

    2016-05-31

    Fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates, play key functional roles in aquatic ecosystems, and provide protein for a billion people, especially in the developing world. Those functions are compromised by mounting pressures on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Because of its economic and food value, fish biomass production provides an unusually direct link from biodiversity to critical ecosystem services. We used the Reef Life Survey's global database of 4,556 standardized fish surveys to test the importance of biodiversity to fish production relative to 25 environmental drivers. Temperature, biodiversity, and human influence together explained 47% of the global variation in reef fish biomass among sites. Fish species richness and functional diversity were among the strongest predictors of fish biomass, particularly for the large-bodied species and carnivores preferred by fishers, and these biodiversity effects were robust to potentially confounding influences of sample abundance, scale, and environmental correlations. Warmer temperatures increased biomass directly, presumably by raising metabolism, and indirectly by increasing diversity, whereas temperature variability reduced biomass. Importantly, diversity and climate interact, with biomass of diverse communities less affected by rising and variable temperatures than species-poor communities. Biodiversity thus buffers global fish biomass from climate change, and conservation of marine biodiversity can stabilize fish production in a changing ocean.

  8. Ontogenetic dietary changes of coral reef fishes in the mangrove-seagress-reef continuum: stable isotope and gut-content analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cocheret de la Morinière, E.; Pollux, B.J.A.; Nagelkerken, I.; Hemminga, M.A.; Huiskes, A.H.L.; Van der Velde, G.

    2003-01-01

    Juveniles of a number of reef fish species develop in shallow-water 'nursery' habitats such as mangroves and seagrass beds, and then migrate to the coral reef. This implies that some reef fish species are distributed over the mangrove-seagrass-reef continuum in subpopulations with different size

  9. High spatial variability of coral, sponges and gorgonian assemblages in a well preserved reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia González-Díaz

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of this research was to obtain baseline field data of the composition of sponges, corals, and gorgonian assemblages that can be used as a reference for future analyses of anthropogenic impact. We tested the hypothesis that relatively homogeneous and well preserved reef units can present notable natural variability in the composition of their communities which are unassociated with changes in land proximity or a human impact gradient. Research was carried out in July 2006 at Los Colorados reef, located in the northwestern region of Pinar del Río Province, Cuba at 12 sampling stations. The biotopes selected were crest, terrace edge and spur and grove. Ecological indicators were diversity of corals, species composition, density of corals, hydrocorals, gorgonians and sponges, and density of selected coral species. A total of 2659 colonies of scleractineans corals representing 36 species were counted. The most abundant species in the crest biotope were Millepora alcicornis, Acropora palmata and Porites astreoides; in the terrace edge and spur and grove, the most abundant species were Siderastrea siderea, Stephanocoenia intersepta, Porites astreoides, Agaricia agaricites and Montastraea cavernosa. We found differences among sites for several indicators (e.g. density of corals, sponges and gorgonians and for selected species, but they could not be associated to any gradient of land influence or human impact. Therefore, sites inside a relatively homogeneous reef unit can present notable natural differences in the composition of their communities. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (2: 621-634. Epub 2010 June 02.

  10. High spatial variability of coral, sponges and gorgonian assemblages in a well preserved reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Díaz, Patricia; González-Sansón, Gaspar; Alvarez Fernández, Sergio; Perera Pérez, Orlando

    2010-06-01

    The main goal of this research was to obtain baseline field data of the composition of sponges, corals, and gorgonian assemblages that can be used as a reference for future analyses of anthropogenic impact. We tested the hypothesis that relatively homogeneous and well preserved reef units can present notable natural variability in the composition of their communities which are unassociated with changes in land proximity or a human impact gradient. Research was carried out in July 2006 at Los Colorados reef, located in the northwestern region of Pinar del Río Province, Cuba at 12 sampling stations. The biotopes selected were crest, terrace edge and spur and grove. Ecological indicators were diversity of corals, species composition, density of corals, hydrocorals, gorgonians and sponges, and density of selected coral species. A total of 2659 colonies of scleractineans corals representing 36 species were counted. The most abundant species in the crest biotope were Millepora alcicornis, Acropora palmata and Porites astreoides; in the terrace edge and spur and grove, the most abundant species were Siderastrea siderea, Stephanocoenia intersepta, Porites astreoides, Agaricia agaricites and Montastraea cavernosa. We found differences among sites for several indicators (e.g. density of corals, sponges and gorgonians and for selected species), but they could not be associated to any gradient of land influence or human impact. Therefore, sites inside a relatively homogeneous reef unit can present notable natural differences in the composition of their communities.

  11. Environmental gradients structure gorgonian assemblages on coral reefs in SE Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowley, Sonia J.

    2018-06-01

    Indonesian coral reefs are the epicenter of marine biodiversity, yet are under rapid anthropogenically induced decline. Therefore, ecological monitoring of high diversity taxa is paramount to facilitate effective management and conservation. This study presents an initial report from a comprehensive survey of shallow-water (0-15 m) gorgonian assemblage composition and structure across sites with varying habitat quality within the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), SE Sulawesi, Indonesia. Current estimates of over 90 morphospecies from 38 genera and 12 families within the calcaxonian, holaxonian and scleraxonian groups are reported. This extensive survey confirms high local gorgonian abundance, diversity and species richness in the absence of anthropogenic influence and increasing with depth. Notably, morphological variants of the zooxanthellate species Isis hippuris Linnaeus, 1758, and Briareum Blainville, 1830, drive site and habitat assemblage differences across environmental gradients. Azooxanthellate taxa, particularly within the Plexauridae, drive species richness and diversity with depth. Of the 14 predictor variables measured, benthic characteristics, water flow and natural light explained just 30% of gorgonian assemblage structure. Furthermore, zooxanthellate and azooxanthellate taxa partitioned distinct gorgonian communities into two trophic groups—autotrophs and heterotrophs, respectively—with contrasting diversity and abundance patterns within and between study sites. This study strongly supports the WMNP as an area of high regional gorgonian abundance and diversity. Varying ecological patterns across environmental clines can provide the foundation for future research and conservation management strategies in some of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world.

  12. Crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes

    KAUST Repository

    Wilson, S. K.; Adjeroud, M.; Bellwood, D. R.; Berumen, Michael L.; Booth, D.; Bozec, Y.-M.; Chabanet, P.; Cheal, A.; Cinner, J.; Depczynski, M.; Feary, D. A.; Gagliano, M.; Graham, N. A. J.; Halford, A. R.; Halpern, B. S.; Harborne, A. R.; Hoey, A. S.; Holbrook, S. J.; Jones, G. P.; Kulbiki, M.; Letourneur, Y.; De Loma, T. L.; McClanahan, T.; McCormick, M. I.; Meekan, M. G.; Mumby, P. J.; Munday, P. L.; Ohman, M. C.; Pratchett, M. S.; Riegl, B.; Sano, M.; Schmitt, R. J.; Syms, C.

    2010-01-01

    Expert opinion was canvassed to identify crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes. Scientists that had published three or more papers on the effects of climate and environmental factors on reef

  13. Comparative visual ecophysiology of mid-Atlantic temperate reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrij Z. Horodysky

    2013-11-01

    The absolute light sensitivities, temporal properties, and spectral sensitivities of the visual systems of three mid-Atlantic temperate reef fishes (Atlantic spadefish [Ephippidae: Chaetodipterus faber], tautog [Labridae: Tautoga onitis], and black sea bass [Serranidae: Centropristis striata] were studied via electroretinography (ERG. Pelagic Atlantic spadefish exhibited higher temporal resolution but a narrower dynamic range than the two more demersal foragers. The higher luminous sensitivities of tautog and black sea bass were similar to other benthic and demersal coastal mid-Atlantic fishes. Flicker fusion frequency experiments revealed significant interspecific differences at maximum intensities that correlated with lifestyle and habitat. Spectral responses of the three species spanned 400–610 nm, with high likelihood of cone dichromacy providing the basis for color and contrast discrimination. Significant day-night differences in spectral responses were evident in spadefish and black sea bass but not tautog, a labrid with characteristic structure-associated nocturnal torpor. Atlantic spadefish responded to a wider range of wavelengths than did deeper-dwelling tautog or black sea bass. Collectively, these results suggest that temperate reef-associated fishes are well-adapted to their gradient of brighter to dimmer photoclimates, representative of their unique ecologies and life histories. Continuing anthropogenic degradation of water quality in coastal environments, at a pace faster than the evolution of visual systems, may however impede visual foraging and reproductive signaling in temperate reef fishes.

  14. Red fluorescence in reef fish: A novel signalling mechanism?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siebeck Ulrike E

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background At depths below 10 m, reefs are dominated by blue-green light because seawater selectively absorbs the longer, 'red' wavelengths beyond 600 nm from the downwelling sunlight. Consequently, the visual pigments of many reef fish are matched to shorter wavelengths, which are transmitted better by water. Combining the typically poor long-wavelength sensitivity of fish eyes with the presumed lack of ambient red light, red light is currently considered irrelevant for reef fish. However, previous studies ignore the fact that several marine organisms, including deep sea fish, produce their own red luminescence and are capable of seeing it. Results We here report that at least 32 reef fishes from 16 genera and 5 families show pronounced red fluorescence under natural, daytime conditions at depths where downwelling red light is virtually absent. Fluorescence was confirmed by extensive spectrometry in the laboratory. In most cases peak emission was around 600 nm and fluorescence was associated with guanine crystals, which thus far were known for their light reflecting properties only. Our data indicate that red fluorescence may function in a context of intraspecific communication. Fluorescence patterns were typically associated with the eyes or the head, varying substantially even between species of the same genus. Moreover red fluorescence was particularly strong in fins that are involved in intraspecific signalling. Finally, microspectrometry in one fluorescent goby, Eviota pellucida, showed a long-wave sensitivity that overlapped with its own red fluorescence, indicating that this species is capable of seeing its own fluorescence. Conclusion We show that red fluorescence is widespread among marine fishes. Many features indicate that it is used as a private communication mechanism in small, benthic, pair- or group-living fishes. Many of these species show quite cryptic colouration in other parts of the visible spectrum. High inter

  15. Invasive Lionfish Drive Atlantic Coral Reef Fish Declines

    OpenAIRE

    Green, Stephanie; Akins, John; Maljković, Aleksandra; Cote, Isabelle

    2012-01-01

    Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) have spread swiftly across the Western Atlantic, producing a marine predator invasion of unparalleled speed and magnitude. There is growing concern that lionfish will affect the structure and function of invaded marine ecosystems, however detrimental impacts on natural communities have yet to be measured. Here we document the response of native fish communities to predation by lionfish populations on nine coral reefs off New Providence Isl...

  16. A morphospace for reef fishes: elongation is the dominant axis of body shape evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Claverie

    Full Text Available Tropical reef fishes are widely regarded as being perhaps the most morphologically diverse vertebrate assemblage on earth, yet much remains to be discovered about the scope and patterns of this diversity. We created a morphospace of 2,939 species spanning 56 families of tropical Indo-Pacific reef fishes and established the primary axes of body shape variation, the phylogenetic consistency of these patterns, and whether dominant patterns of shape change can be accomplished by diverse underlying changes. Principal component analysis showed a major axis of shape variation that contrasts deep-bodied species with slender, elongate forms. Furthermore, using custom methods to compare the elongation vector (axis that maximizes elongation deformation and the main vector of shape variation (first principal component for each family in the morphospace, we showed that two thirds of the families diversify along an axis of body elongation. Finally, a comparative analysis using a principal coordinate analysis based on the angles among first principal component vectors of each family shape showed that families accomplish changes in elongation with a wide range of underlying modifications. Some groups such as Pomacentridae and Lethrinidae undergo decreases in body depth with proportional increases in all body regions, while other families show disproportionate changes in the length of the head (e.g., Labridae, the trunk or caudal region in all combinations (e.g., Pempheridae and Pinguipedidae. In conclusion, we found that evolutionary changes in body shape along an axis of elongation dominates diversification in reef fishes. Changes in shape on this axis are thought to have immediate implications for swimming performance, defense from gape limited predators, suction feeding performance and access to some highly specialized habitats. The morphological modifications that underlie changes in elongation are highly diverse, suggesting a role for a range of

  17. A Morphospace for Reef Fishes: Elongation Is the Dominant Axis of Body Shape Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claverie, Thomas; Wainwright, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical reef fishes are widely regarded as being perhaps the most morphologically diverse vertebrate assemblage on earth, yet much remains to be discovered about the scope and patterns of this diversity. We created a morphospace of 2,939 species spanning 56 families of tropical Indo-Pacific reef fishes and established the primary axes of body shape variation, the phylogenetic consistency of these patterns, and whether dominant patterns of shape change can be accomplished by diverse underlying changes. Principal component analysis showed a major axis of shape variation that contrasts deep-bodied species with slender, elongate forms. Furthermore, using custom methods to compare the elongation vector (axis that maximizes elongation deformation) and the main vector of shape variation (first principal component) for each family in the morphospace, we showed that two thirds of the families diversify along an axis of body elongation. Finally, a comparative analysis using a principal coordinate analysis based on the angles among first principal component vectors of each family shape showed that families accomplish changes in elongation with a wide range of underlying modifications. Some groups such as Pomacentridae and Lethrinidae undergo decreases in body depth with proportional increases in all body regions, while other families show disproportionate changes in the length of the head (e.g., Labridae), the trunk or caudal region in all combinations (e.g., Pempheridae and Pinguipedidae). In conclusion, we found that evolutionary changes in body shape along an axis of elongation dominates diversification in reef fishes. Changes in shape on this axis are thought to have immediate implications for swimming performance, defense from gape limited predators, suction feeding performance and access to some highly specialized habitats. The morphological modifications that underlie changes in elongation are highly diverse, suggesting a role for a range of developmental processes

  18. Length-weight relationship of fishes from coral reefs and lagoons of New Caledonia: an update

    OpenAIRE

    Letourneur, Y.; Kulbicki, M.; Labrosse, P.

    1998-01-01

    Length-weight relationships of 316 reef and lagoon fish from New Caledonia (SW Pacific Ocean) belonging to 68 families are computed. A total of 43,750 individuals was used for this purpose. Fish were sampled by different techniques such as rotenone poisoning, handline and bottom longline fishing, gill and trammel nets, and trawling in various isotopes (coral reefs, lagoon bottoms and mangroves).

  19. Environmental influences on fish assemblage distribution of an estuarine coastal lagoon, Ria de Aveiro (Portugal)

    OpenAIRE

    Pombo, L.; Elliott, M.; Rebelo, J. E.

    2005-01-01

    Fish assemblage was examined for patterns in spatial and seasonal structure within an estuarine coastal lagoon, Ria de Aveiro. Two years of variation in abiotic conditions were recorded to identify factors responsible for maintaining the structure of fish assemblages. Nine sites were sampled monthly with a traditional “chincha” beach-seine net between November 1998 and October 2000. Fish abundance and biomass changed significantly between sites. Temperature was found to be the most important ...

  20. Spatial distribution of fifty ornamental fish species on coral reefs in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalaf, Maroof A; Abdallah, Mohamed

    2014-01-01

    The spatial distribution of 50 ornamental fish species from shallow water habitats on coral reefs were investigated using visual census techniques, between latitudes 11-29°N in the Red Sea, in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, and in the adjacent Gulf of Aden in Djibouti. One hundred eighteen transects (each 100×5 m) were examined in 29 sites (3-8 sites per country). A total of 522,523 fish individuals were counted during this survey, with mean abundance of 4428.2 ± 87.26 individual per 500 m² transect. In terms of relative abundance (RA), the most abundant species were Blue green damselfish, Chromis viridis (RA=54.4%),followed bySea goldie, Pseudanthias squamipinnis (RA= 34.7), Whitetail dascyllus, Dascyllus aruanus (RA= 2.6%), Marginate dascyllus, Dascyllus marginatus (RA= 2.0),Red Sea eightline flasher Paracheilinus octotaenia (RA=1.0),andKlunzinger's wrasse, Thalassoma rueppellii (0.7%). The highest number of species (S) per 500 m² transect was found on reefs at the latitude 20° in Saudi Arabia (S=21.8), and the lowest number of species was found at the latitude 15° in Djibouti (S=11.11). The highest mean abundance (8565.8) was found on reefs at latitude 20° in Saudi Arabia and the lowest mean abundance (230) was found on reefs at latitude 22°, also in Saudi Arabia. Whereas, the highest Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index was found in reefs at the latitude 22° (H`=2.4) and the lowest was found in reefs at the latitude 20° (H`=0.6). This study revealed marked differences in the structure of ornamental fish assemblages with latitudinal distribution. The data support the presence of two major biogeographic groups of fishes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden: the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden group and the group in the northern and central Red Sea. Strong correlations were found between live coral cover and the number of fish species, abundance and Shannon-Wiener Diversity indices, and the strength of these correlations varied among the reefs. A

  1. Spatial distribution of fifty ornamental fish species on coral reefs in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maroof Khalaf

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial distribution of 50 ornamental fish species from shallow water habitats on coral reefs were investigated using visual census techniques, between latitudes 11−29°N in the Red Sea, in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, and in the adjacent Gulf of Aden in Djibouti. One hundred eighteen transects (each 100×5 m were examined in 29 sites (3−8 sites per country. A total of 522,523 fish individuals were counted during this survey, with mean abundance of 4428.2 ± 87.26 individual per 500 m² transect. In terms of relative abundance (RA, the most abundant species were Blue green damselfish, Chromis viridis (RA=54.4%, followed by Sea goldie, Pseudanthias squamipinnis (RA= 34.7, Whitetail dascyllus, Dascyllus aruanus (RA= 2.6%, Marginate dascyllus, Dascyllus marginatus (RA= 2.0, Red Sea eightline flasher Paracheilinus octotaenia (RA=1.0, and Klunzinger’s wrasse, Thalassoma rueppellii (0.7%. The highest number of species (S per 500 m² transect was found on reefs at the latitude 20° in Saudi Arabia (S=21.8, and the lowest number of species was found at the latitude 15° in Djibouti (S=11.11. The highest mean abundance (8565.8 was found on reefs at latitude 20° in Saudi Arabia and the lowest mean abundance (230 was found on reefs at latitude 22°, also in Saudi Arabia. Whereas, the highest Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index was found in reefs at the latitude 22° (H`=2.4 and the lowest was found in reefs at the latitude 20° (H`=0.6. This study revealed marked differences in the structure of ornamental fish assemblages with latitudinal distribution. The data support the presence of two major biogeographic groups of fishes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden: the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden group and the group in the northern and central Red Sea. Strong correlations were found between live coral cover and the number of fish species, abundance and Shannon-Wiener Diversity indices, and the strength of these correlations varied among the

  2. ENERGETIC EXTREMES IN A HOSTILE HABITAT: FISH LOCOMOTION ON WAVE-SWEPT CORAL REEFS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffensen, John Fleng

    2010-01-01

    , and wing-like fins that generate lift-based thrust at high speed. Literally flying underwater, Stethojulis and other winged-fin species are the most abundant fish in wave-swept coral reef habitats. We discuss the extreme swimming performance of these reef fishes within the context of other non......-scombrid and scombrid fishes, and illustrate how such performance has contributed to their domination of shallow coral reef habitats worldwide....

  3. Environmental variables measured at multiple spatial scales exert uneven influence on fish assemblages of floodplain lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dembkowski, Daniel J.; Miranda, Leandro E.

    2014-01-01

    We examined the interaction between environmental variables measured at three different scales (i.e., landscape, lake, and in-lake) and fish assemblage descriptors across a range of over 50 floodplain lakes in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley of Mississippi and Arkansas. Our goal was to identify important local- and landscape-level determinants of fish assemblage structure. Relationships between fish assemblage structure and variables measured at broader scales (i.e., landscape-level and lake-level) were hypothesized to be stronger than relationships with variables measured at finer scales (i.e., in-lake variables). Results suggest that fish assemblage structure in floodplain lakes was influenced by variables operating on three different scales. However, and contrary to expectations, canonical correlations between in-lake environmental characteristics and fish assemblage structure were generally stronger than correlations between landscape-level and lake-level variables and fish assemblage structure, suggesting a hierarchy of influence. From a resource management perspective, our study suggests that landscape-level and lake-level variables may be manipulated for conservation or restoration purposes, and in-lake variables and fish assemblage structure may be used to monitor the success of such efforts.

  4. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Cox, Courtney E; Silbiger, Nyssa J; Bruno, John F

    2017-01-01

    Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0-10 cm total length) at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

  5. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serena Hackerott

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0–10 cm total length at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

  6. 78 FR 18273 - Draft Guidance for Industry on Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With the Hazard of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-26

    .... FDA-2013-D-0269] Draft Guidance for Industry on Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With the... availability of a draft guidance entitled ``Guidance for Industry: Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With... seafood processors who purchase reef fish how to minimize the risk of ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) from...

  7. Spatial and seasonal variations of fish assemblages in mangrove creek systems in Zanzibar (Tanzania)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mwandya, Augustine W.; Gullström, Martin; Andersson, Mathias H.; Öhman, Marcus C.; Mgaya, Yunus D.; Bryceson, Ian

    2010-11-01

    Spatial and seasonal variations of fish assemblage composition were studied in three non-estuarine mangrove creeks of Zanzibar (Tanzania). Fish were collected monthly for one year at three sites (lower, intermediate and upper reaches) in each creek using a seine net (each haul covering 170 m 2). Density, species number and diversity of fish were all higher at sites with dense cover of macrophytes (seagrass and macroalgae) than over unvegetated sandy sites. In general, fish assemblages mainly comprised juveniles of a few abundant taxa, e.g. Mugil cephalus, Mugilidae spp. and Leiognathus equulus at sites with mud substratum and Gerres oyena, Lethrinus harak and Sillago sihama at sites dominated by macrophytes. Multivariate analyses revealed significant separations in fish assemblage composition within the two creeks where the bottom substratum differed among sites. Overall, season seemed to have little effect on density, species number, diversity index ( H') and assemblage structure of fish. Water condition variables were also relatively stable across the season, although a short-term fluctuation primarily induced by decreased salinity, occurred during the heavy rains in April and May. Fish assemblage structure was not significantly affected by any of the abiotic factors tested. However, significant regressions were found between the other fish variables and environmental variables, but since these associations were mostly species-specific and generally inconsistent, we suggest that the overall distribution patterns of fish were mainly an effect of particular substrate preferences of fish species rather than contemporary water conditions.

  8. Climate-driven coral reorganisation influences aggressive behaviour in juvenile coral-reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kok, Judith E.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.

    2016-06-01

    Globally, habitat degradation is altering the abundance and diversity of species in a variety of ecosystems. This study aimed to determine how habitat degradation, in terms of changing coral composition under climate change, affected abundance, species richness and aggressive behaviour of juveniles of three damselfishes ( Pomacentrus moluccensis, P. amboinensis and Dischistodus perspicillatus, in order of decreasing reliance on coral). Patch reefs were constructed to simulate two types of reefs: present-day reefs that are vulnerable to climate-induced coral bleaching, and reefs with more bleaching-robust coral taxa, thereby simulating the likely future of coral reefs under a warming climate. Fish communities were allowed to establish naturally on the reefs during the summer recruitment period. Climate-robust reefs had lower total species richness of coral-reef fishes than climate-vulnerable reefs, but total fish abundance was not significantly different between reef types (pooled across all species and life-history stages). The nature of aggressive interactions, measured as the number of aggressive chases, varied according to coral composition; on climate-robust reefs, juveniles used the substratum less often to avoid aggression from competitors, and interspecific aggression became relatively more frequent than intraspecific aggression for juveniles of the coral-obligate P. moluccensis. This study highlights the importance of coral composition as a determinant of behaviour and diversity of coral-reef fishes.

  9. Effects of human population density and proximity to markets on coral reef fishes vulnerable to extinction by fishing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, T D; Cinner, J E; Green, A; Pressey, R L

    2013-06-01

    Coral reef fisheries are crucial to the livelihoods of tens of millions of people; yet, widespread habitat degradation and unsustainable fishing are causing severe depletion of stocks of reef fish. Understanding how social and economic factors, such as human population density, access to external markets, and modernization interact with fishing and habitat degradation to affect fish stocks is vital to sustainable management of coral reef fisheries. We used fish survey data, national social and economic data, and path analyses to assess whether these factors explain variation in biomass of coral reef fishes among 25 sites in Solomon Islands. We categorized fishes into 3 groups on the basis of life-history characteristics associated with vulnerability to extinction by fishing (high, medium, and low vulnerability). The biomass of fish with low vulnerability was positively related to habitat condition. The biomass of fishes with high vulnerability was negatively related to fishing conducted with efficient gear. Use of efficient gear, in turn, was strongly and positively related to both population density and market proximity. This result suggests local population pressure and external markets have additive negative effects on vulnerable reef fish. Biomass of the fish of medium vulnerability was not explained by fishing intensity or habitat condition, which suggests these species may be relatively resilient to both habitat degradation and fishing. © 2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Temporal changes in taxonomic and functional diversity of fish assemblages downstream from mountaintop mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Chambers, Douglas B.

    2014-01-01

    Mountaintop mining (MTM) affects chemical, physical, and hydrological properties of receiving streams, but the long-term consequences for fish-assemblage structure and function are poorly understood. We sampled stream fish assemblages using electrofishing techniques in MTM exposure sites and reference sites within the Guyandotte River basin, USA, during 2010–2011. We calculated indices of taxonomic diversity (species richness, abundance, Shannon diversity) and functional diversity (functional richness, functional evenness, functional divergence) to compare exposure and reference assemblages between seasons (spring and autumn) and across years (1999–2011). We based temporal comparisons on 2 sites that were sampled during 1999–2001 by Stauffer and Ferreri (2002). Exposure assemblages had lower taxonomic and functional diversity than reference assemblages or simulated assemblages that accounted for random variation. Differences in taxonomic composition between reference and exposure assemblages were associated with conductivity and aqueous Se concentrations. Exposure assemblages had fewer species, lower abundances, and less biomass than reference assemblages across years and seasons. Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) and Creek Chub (Semotilus atromaculatus) became numerically dominant in exposure assemblages over time because of their persistence and losses of other taxa. In contrast, species richness increased over time in reference assemblages, a result that may indicate recovery from drought. Mean individual biomass increased as fish density decreased and most obligate invertivores were apparently extirpated at MTM exposure sites. Effects of MTM were not related to physical-habitat conditions but were associated with water-quality variables, which may limit quality and availability of benthic macroinvertebrate prey. Simulations revealed effects of MTM that could not be attributed to random variation in fish assemblage structure.

  11. Groundwater declines are linked to changes in Great Plains stream fish assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkin, Joshuah S; Gido, Keith B; Falke, Jeffrey A; Fausch, Kurt D; Crockett, Harry; Johnson, Eric R; Sanderson, John

    2017-07-11

    Groundwater pumping for agriculture is a major driver causing declines of global freshwater ecosystems, yet the ecological consequences for stream fish assemblages are rarely quantified. We combined retrospective (1950-2010) and prospective (2011-2060) modeling approaches within a multiscale framework to predict change in Great Plains stream fish assemblages associated with groundwater pumping from the United States High Plains Aquifer. We modeled the relationship between the length of stream receiving water from the High Plains Aquifer and the occurrence of fishes characteristic of small and large streams in the western Great Plains at a regional scale and for six subwatersheds nested within the region. Water development at the regional scale was associated with construction of 154 barriers that fragment stream habitats, increased depth to groundwater and loss of 558 km of stream, and transformation of fish assemblage structure from dominance by large-stream to small-stream fishes. Scaling down to subwatersheds revealed consistent transformations in fish assemblage structure among western subwatersheds with increasing depths to groundwater. Although transformations occurred in the absence of barriers, barriers along mainstem rivers isolate depauperate western fish assemblages from relatively intact eastern fish assemblages. Projections to 2060 indicate loss of an additional 286 km of stream across the region, as well as continued replacement of large-stream fishes by small-stream fishes where groundwater pumping has increased depth to groundwater. Our work illustrates the shrinking of streams and homogenization of Great Plains stream fish assemblages related to groundwater pumping, and we predict similar transformations worldwide where local and regional aquifer depletions occur.

  12. Fish assemblages in borrow-pit lakes of the Lower Mississippi River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Leandro E.; Killgore, K. J.; Hoover, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Borrow-pit lakes encompass about a third of the lentic water habitats (by area) in the active floodplain of the Lower Mississippi River, yet little is known about their fish assemblages. We investigated whether fish assemblages supported by borrow-pit lakes resembled those in oxbow lakes to help place the ecological relevance of borrow-pit lakes in context with that of natural floodplain lakes. In all, we collected 75 fish species, including 65 species in eight borrow-pit lakes, 52 species in four riverside oxbow lakes, and 44 species in eight landside oxbow lakes. Significant differences in several species richness metrics were evident between borrow-pit lakes and landside oxbow lakes but not between borrow-pit lakes and riverside oxbow lakes. All three lake types differed in fish assemblage composition. Borrow-pit lakes and riverside oxbow lakes tended to include a greater representation of fish species that require access to diverse environments, including lentic, lotic, and palustrine habitats; fish assemblages in landside oxbow lakes included a higher representation of lacustrine species. None of the fish species collected in borrow-pit lakes was federally listed as threatened or endangered, but several were listed as species of special concern by state governments in the region, suggesting that borrow-pit lakes provide habitat for sensitive riverine and wetland fish species. Differences in fish assemblages among borrow-pit lakes were linked to engineered morphologic features, suggesting that diversity in engineering can contribute to diversity in fish assemblages; however, more research is needed to match engineering designs with fish assemblage structures that best meet conservation needs.

  13. Fish-assemblage variation between geologically defined regions and across a longitudinal gradient in the Monkey River Basin, Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esselman, P.C.; Freeman, Mary C.; Pringle, C.M.

    2006-01-01

    assemblage structure within each geologic type. The fauna showed weak compositional zonation into 3 groups (headwaters, coastal plain, and nearshore). Nearly 20% of the fish species collected have migratory life cycles (including Joturus pichardi, Agonostomus monticola, and Gobiomorus dormitor) that use freshwater and marine habitats. Some of these species probably rely on a natural flow regime and longitudinal connectivity for reproduction and dispersal of young, and natural flow regime and longitudinal connectivity are important factors for maintenance of functional linkages between the uplands and the coast in the ridge-to-reef corridor where the Monkey River is located. Therefore, we suggest that the viability of migratory fish populations may be a good biological indicator of upland-to-estuary connectivity important both to fishes and coastal ecosystem function. We recommend follow-up studies to substantiate the relative strengths of relationships between community structure and abiotic factors in contrasting geologies and to examine potential bottom-up responses of stream biota to the higher nutrient levels that were observed in stream waters draining the Santa Rosa Group geologic type.

  14. Assemblage Organization in Stream Fishes: Effects of Enviromental Variation and Interspecific Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gary D. Grossman; Robert E. Ratajczak; Maurice Crawford; Mary C. Freeman

    1998-01-01

    We assessed the relative importance of environmental variation, interspecific competition for space, and predator abundance on assemblage structure and microhabitat use in a stream fish assemblage inhabiting Coweeta Creek, North Carolina, USA. Our study encompassed a l0-yr time span (1983-1992) and included some of the highest and lowest flows in the last 58 years. We...

  15. Not finding Nemo: limited reef-scale retention in a coral reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Nanninga, Gerrit B.

    2015-02-03

    The spatial scale of larval dispersal is a key predictor of marine metapopulation dynamics and an important factor in the design of reserve networks. Over the past 15 yr, studies of larval dispersal in coral reef fishes have generated accumulating evidence of consistently high levels of self-recruitment and local retention at various spatial scales. These findings have, to a certain degree, created a paradigm shift toward the perception that large fractions of locally produced recruitment may be the rule rather than the exception. Here we examined the degree of localized settlement in an anemonefish, Amphiprion bicinctus, at a solitary coral reef in the central Red Sea by integrating estimates of self-recruitment obtained from genetic parentage analysis with predictions of local retention derived from a biophysical dispersal model parameterized with real-time physical forcing. Self-recruitment at the reef scale (c. 0.7 km2) was virtually absent during two consecutive January spawning events (1.4 % in 2012 and 0 % in 2013). Predicted levels of local retention at the reef scale varied temporally, but were comparatively low for both simulations (7 % in 2012 and 0 % in 2013). At the same time, the spatial scale of simulated dispersal was restricted to approximately 20 km from the source. Model predictions of reef-scale larval retention were highly dependent on biological parameters, underlining the need for further empirical validations of larval traits over a range of species. Overall, our findings present an urgent caution when assuming the potential for self-replenishment in small marine reserves.

  16. Fish assemblage patterns as a tool to aid conservation in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fish assemblage patterns as a tool to aid conservation in the Olifants River catchment ... Water SA. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current ... South Africa has committed to address freshwater conservation at the ...

  17. Surface water connectivity drives richness and composition of Arctic lake fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laske, Sarah M.; Haynes, Trevor B.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.; Koch, Joshua C.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Whitman, Matthew; Zimmerman, Christian E.

    2016-01-01

    Surface water connectivity can influence the richness and composition of fish assemblages, particularly in harsh environments where colonisation factors and access to seasonal refugia are required for species persistence.

  18. Coastal rocky reef fishes of Santa Catarina's northern islands, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnatas Adelir Alves

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The coast of the state of Santa Catarina only has non-biogenic reefs, i.e. rocky and artificial reefs, and is considered the geographic south limit for many reef fish species. At present the diversity of organisms associated with reef environments is threatened. This study aimed to record the number of families and species of reef fish fauna of the north coast of the state of Santa Catarina. The data were collected through underwater visual census performed on Graças archipelago (26°12'S /48º29'W, Tamboretes archipelago (26°22'S/48°31'W and Barra do Sul islands (26°27'S/48º35'W. A total of 166 species was observed (6 elasmobranchii and 160 actinopterygii belonging to 66 families. The families with more species richness were Carangidae (16, Epinephelidae (9, Blenidae (8, Serranidae (7, Haemulidae (6, Sparidae (6 Tetraodontidae (6, Labridae-Scarini (5, Labrisomidae (5 Pomacentridae (5, Lutjanidae (5 and Muraenidae (5. This study add to the current published list, new 115 species, including new occurrences (e.g. Chromis limbata, and some endemic (e.g. Sparisoma amplum, exotic (e.g. Omobranchus punctatus, endangered (e.g. Hippocampus erectus and overexploited (e.g. Lutjanus analis species. Twenty one species are present in the IUCN’s list, twelve in the IBAMA’s list and four in the local list. All elasmobranchii recorded here are considered threatened species, like the brazilian guitarfish (Rhinobatos horkelii, which appears in three red lists, and it is considered critically endangered. All species of Epinephelidae are mentioned in the list of risk categories of the IUCN and five are cited as overexploited or threatened with overexploitation by IBAMA. Among Epinephelidae, the goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara, is present in all red lists and has specific protection rules in Brazil. The gathered information will allow to take appropriate conservation measures, such as the establishment of marine protected areas, monitoring of fishing

  19. Changes in fish assemblages following the establishment of a network of no-take marine reserves and partially-protected areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan P Kelaher

    Full Text Available Networks of no-take marine reserves and partially-protected areas (with limited fishing are being increasingly promoted as a means of conserving biodiversity. We examined changes in fish assemblages across a network of marine reserves and two different types of partially-protected areas within a marine park over the first 5 years of its establishment. We used Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV to quantify fish communities on rocky reefs at 20-40 m depth between 2008-2011. Each year, we sampled 12 sites in 6 no-take marine reserves and 12 sites in two types of partially-protected areas with contrasting levels of protection (n = 4 BRUV stations per site. Fish abundances were 38% greater across the network of marine reserves compared to the partially-protected areas, although not all individual reserves performed equally. Compliance actions were positively associated with marine reserve responses, while reserve size had no apparent relationship with reserve performance after 5 years. The richness and abundance of fishes did not consistently differ between the two types of partially-protected areas. There was, therefore, no evidence that the more regulated partially-protected areas had additional conservation benefits for reef fish assemblages. Overall, our results demonstrate conservation benefits to fish assemblages from a newly established network of temperate marine reserves. They also show that ecological monitoring can contribute to adaptive management of newly established marine reserve networks, but the extent of this contribution is limited by the rate of change in marine communities in response to protection.

  20. Comparison of coral reef ecosystems along a fishing pressure gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariska Weijerman

    Full Text Available Three trophic mass-balance models representing coral reef ecosystems along a fishery gradient were compared to evaluate ecosystem effects of fishing. The majority of the biomass estimates came directly from a large-scale visual survey program; therefore, data were collected in the same way for all three models, enhancing comparability. Model outputs-such as net system production, size structure of the community, total throughput, production, consumption, production-to-respiration ratio, and Finn's cycling index and mean path length-indicate that the systems around the unpopulated French Frigate Shoals and along the relatively lightly populated Kona Coast of Hawai'i Island are mature, stable systems with a high efficiency in recycling of biomass. In contrast, model results show that the reef system around the most populated island in the State of Hawai'i, O'ahu, is in a transitional state with reduced ecosystem resilience and appears to be shifting to an algal-dominated system. Evaluation of the candidate indicators for fishing pressure showed that indicators at the community level (e.g., total biomass, community size structure, trophic level of the community were most robust (i.e., showed the clearest trend and that multiple indicators are necessary to identify fishing perturbations. These indicators could be used as performance indicators when compared to a baseline for management purposes. This study shows that ecosystem models can be valuable tools in identification of the system state in terms of complexity, stability, and resilience and, therefore, can complement biological metrics currently used by monitoring programs as indicators for coral reef status. Moreover, ecosystem models can improve our understanding of a system's internal structure that can be used to support management in identification of approaches to reverse unfavorable states.

  1. Visual Census of the Reef Fishes in the Natural Reserve of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: visual census, reef fishes, natural reserve, Glorieuses Islands, western Indian Ocean This paper constitutes the first qualitative study of coral reef fish populations in the archipelago of the Glorieuses Islands (northern Mozambique Channel). Sampling by visual census techniques, at depths between 0 and 15 ...

  2. Complex and interactive effects of ocean acidification and temperature on epilithic and endolithic coral-reef turf algal assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Maggie D.; Comeau, Steeve; Lantz, Coulson A.; Smith, Jennifer E.

    2017-12-01

    Turf algal assemblages are ubiquitous primary producers on coral reefs, but little is known about the response of this diverse group to ocean acidification (OA) across different temperatures. We tested the hypothesis that CO2 influences the functional response of epilithic and endolithic turf assemblages to increasing temperature. Replicate carbonate plugs covered by turf were collected from the reef and exposed to ambient and high pCO2 (1000 µatm) conditions for 3 weeks. Each pCO2 treatment was replicated across six temperatures (24.0-31.5 °C) that spanned the full seasonal temperature range on a fringing reef in Moorea, French Polynesia, and included one warming treatment (3 °C above daily average temperatures). Temperature and CO2 enrichment had complex, and sometimes interactive, effects on turf metabolism and growth. Photosynthetic and respiration rates were enhanced by increasing temperature, with an interactive effect of CO2 enrichment. Photosynthetic rates were amplified by high CO2 in the warmest temperatures, while the increase in respiration rates with temperature were enhanced under ambient CO2. Epilithic turf growth rates were not affected by temperature, but increased in response to CO2 enrichment. We found that CO2 and temperature interactively affected the endolithic assemblage, with the highest growth rates under CO2 enrichment, but only at the warmest temperatures. These results demonstrate how OA may influence algal physiology and growth across a range of ecologically relevant temperatures, and indicate that the effects of CO2 enrichment on coral-reef turf assemblages can be temperature dependent. The complex effects of CO2 enrichment and temperature across a suite of algal responses illustrates the importance of incorporating multiple stressors into global change experiments.

  3. Spatial and seasonal patterns in fish assemblage in Corrego Rico, upper Parana River basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erico L. H Takahashi

    Full Text Available The upper Paraná River basin drains areas of intensive industry and agriculture, suffering negative impacts. The Córrego Rico flows through sugar cane fields and receives urban wastewater. The aim of this work is to describe and to compare the fish assemblage structure in Córrego Rico. Six standardized bimonthly samples were collected between August 2008 and June 2009 in seven different stretches of Córrego Rico. Fishes were collected with an experimental seine and sieves, euthanized, fixed in formalin and preserved in ethanol for counting and identification. Data were recorded for water parameters, instream habitat and riparian features within each stretch. Non-metric multidimensional scaling, species richness and diversity analysis were performed to examine spatial and seasonal variation in assemblage structure. Fish assemblage structure was correlated with instream habitat and water parameters. The fish assemblage was divided in three groups: upper, middle and lower reaches. High values of richness and diversity were observed in the upper and lower stretches due to connectivity with a small lake and Mogi Guaçu River, respectively. Middle stretches showed low values of richness and diversity suggesting that a small dam in the middle stretch negatively impacts the fish assemblage. Seasonal differences in fish assemblage structure were observed only in the lower stretches.

  4. Fish assemblage structure and relations with environmental conditions in a Rocky Mountain watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quist, M.C.; Hubert, W.A.; Isaak, D.J.

    2004-01-01

    Fish and habitat were sampled from 110 reaches in the Salt River basin (Idaho and Wyoming) during 1996 and 1997 to assess patterns in fish assemblage structure across a Rocky Mountain watershed. We identified four distinct fish assemblages using cluster analysis: (1) allopatric cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki (Richardson, 1836)); (2) cutthroat trout - brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchell, 1814)) - Paiute sculpin (Cottus beldingi Eigenmann and Eigenmann, 1891); (3) cutthroat trout - brown trout (Salmo trutta L., 1758) - mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdi Girard, 1850); and (4) Cyprinidae-Catostomidae. The distribution of fish assemblages was explained by thermal characteristics, stream geomorphology, and local habitat features. Reaches with allopatric cutthroat trout and the cutthroat trout - brook trout - Paiute sculpin assemblage were located in high-elevation, high-gradient streams. The other two fish assemblages were generally located in low-elevation streams. Associations between habitat gradients, locations of reaches in the watershed, and occurrence of species were further examined using canonical correspondence analysis. The results suggest that stream geomorphology, thermal conditions, and local habitat characteristics influence fish assemblage structure across a Rocky Mountain watershed, and they provide information on the ecology of individual species that can guide conservation activities. ?? 2004 NRC Canada.

  5. Determinism in fish assemblages of floodplain lakes of the vastly disturbed Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, L.E.; Lucas, G.M.

    2004-01-01

    The Mississippi Alluvial Valley between southern Illinois and southern Louisiana contains hundreds of floodplain lakes, most of which have been adversely affected by landscape modifications used to control flooding and support agriculture. We examined fish assemblages in lakes of this region to determine whether deterministic patterns developed in relation to prominent abiotic lake characteristics and to explore whether relevant abiotic factors could be linked to specific assemblage structuring mechanisms. The distributions of 14 taxa in 29 lakes were governed primarily by two gradients that contrasted assemblages in terms of lake area, lake elongation, and water clarity. The knowledge of whether a lake was clear or turbid, large or small, and long or short helped determine fish assemblage characteristics. Abiotic factors influenced fish assemblage structures, plausibly through limitations on foraging and physiological tolerances. Determinism in assemblage organization of floodplain lakes relative to recurrence in physicochemical features has been documented for unaltered rivers. Whereas the Mississippi Alluvial Valley has been subjected to vast anthropogenic disturbances and is not a fully functional floodplain river, fish assemblages in its floodplain lakes remain deterministic and organized by the underlying factors that also dictate assemblages in unaltered rivers. In advanced stages of lake aging, fish assemblages in these lakes are expected to largely include species that thrive in turbid, shallow systems with few predators and low oxygen concentrations. The observed patterns related to physical characteristics of these lakes suggest three general conservation foci, including (1) watershed management to control erosion, (2) removal of sediments or increases in water level to alleviate depth reductions and derived detriments to water physicochemistry, and (3) management of fish populations through stockings, removals, and harvest regulations.

  6. Flow seasonality and fish assemblage in a tropical river, French Guiana, South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Leonardo Tejerina-Garro

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to verify the existence of a seasonal pattern of variation in the fish assemblages of a tropical river using taxonomic and functional descriptors. Fish were sampled using gillnets at two sites on the Comté River, a large-sized river 254.8 km long, flowing entirely through rainforest areas of French Guiana. Samplings were conducted every other month from August 1998 to July 2000. Four types of fish assemblage descriptors were used: the species descriptor (number of individual fish of each species in the sample; the family descriptor (number of individual fish of each family in the sample; the trophic descriptor (distribution of the fish biomass in each feeding guild and the specific maximum observed size - MOS (number of individual fish in each of four classes of MOS: 300 mm. Results point out that changes in the fish assemblage are related to water level oscillations. The role of migration seems to be weak and is limited to trophic displacements characteristic of few species. In the low-water season, characterized by weak water level oscillation, fish species and families belonging to piscivorous or aquatic invertivorous guilds were predominant, whereas in the high-water season the environment is submitted to strong variations caused by fast and large water level oscillations, and the fish assemblage was characterized by species or families with an opportunistic omnivorous diet.

  7. Effects of Management Legacies on Stream Fish and Aquatic Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quist, Michael C.; Schultz, Randall D.

    2014-09-01

    Fish and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages often provide insight on ecological conditions for guiding management actions. Unfortunately, land use and management legacies can constrain the structure of biotic communities such that they fail to reflect habitat quality. The purpose of this study was to describe patterns in fish and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage structure, and evaluate relationships between biota and habitat characteristics in the Chariton River system of south-central Iowa, a system likely influenced by various potential management legacies (e.g., dams, chemical removal of fishes). We sampled fishes, benthic macroinvertebrates, and physical habitat from a total of 38 stream reaches in the Chariton River watershed during 2002-2005. Fish and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages were dominated by generalist species tolerant of poor habitat quality; assemblages failed to show any apparent patterns with regard to stream size or longitudinal location within the watershed. Metrics used to summarize fish assemblages and populations [e.g., presence-absence, relative abundance, Index of Biotic Integrity for fish (IBIF)] were not related to habitat characteristics, except that catch rates of piscivores were positively related to the depth and the amount of large wood. In contrast, family richness of benthic macroinvertebrates, richness of Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, and Plecoptera taxa, and IBI values for benthic macroinvertebrates (IBIBM) were positively correlated with the amount of overhanging vegetation and inversely related to the percentage of fine substrate. A long history of habitat alteration by row-crop agriculture and management legacies associated with reservoir construction has likely resulted in a fish assemblage dominated by tolerant species. Intolerant and sensitive fish species have not recolonized streams due to downstream movement barriers (i.e., dams). In contrast, aquatic insect assemblages reflected aquatic habitat, particularly

  8. Spatial patterns of fish standing biomass across Brazilian reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morais, R A; Ferreira, C E L; Floeter, S R

    2017-12-01

    A large fish-count dataset from the Brazilian province was used to describe spatial patterns in standing biomass and test if total biomass, taxonomic and functional trophic structure vary across nested spatial scales. Taxonomic and functional structure varied more among localities and sites than among regions. Total biomass was generally higher at oceanic islands and remote or protected localities along the coast. Lower level carnivores comprised a large part of the biomass at almost all localities (mean of 44%), zooplanktivores never attained more than 14% and omnivores were more representative of subtropical reefs and oceanic islands (up to 66% of total biomass). Small and large herbivores and detritivores varied greatly in their contribution to total biomass, with no clear geographical patterns. Macrocarnivores comprised less than 12% of the biomass anywhere, except for two remote localities. Top predators, such as sharks and very large groupers, were rare and restricted to a few reefs, suggesting that their ecological function might have already been lost in many Brazilian reefs. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  9. Long-term changes in the fish assemblage of a neotropical hydroelectric reservoir.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsi, M L; Britton, J R

    2014-06-01

    The changes in the fish assemblage of the Capivara Reservoir, Brazil, were assessed over a 20 year period. Of 50 native fishes present in the initial samples, 27 were no longer present in the final samples, but there had been an addition of 11 invasive fishes, suggesting the occurrence of substantial shifts in fish diversity and abundance. © 2014 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  10. Climate change effects on North American inland fish populations and assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Abigail J.; Myers, Bonnie; Chu, Cindy; Eby, Lisa A.; Falke, Jeffrey A.; Kovach, Ryan P.; Krabbenhoft, Trevor J.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Lyons, John; Paukert, Craig P.; Whitney, James E.

    2016-01-01

    Climate is a critical driver of many fish populations, assemblages, and aquatic communities. However, direct observational studies of climate change impacts on North American inland fishes are rare. In this synthesis, we (1) summarize climate trends that may influence North American inland fish populations and assemblages, (2) compile 31 peer-reviewed studies of documented climate change effects on North American inland fish populations and assemblages, and (3) highlight four case studies representing a variety of observed responses ranging from warmwater systems in the southwestern and southeastern United States to coldwater systems along the Pacific Coast and Canadian Shield. We conclude by identifying key data gaps and research needs to inform adaptive, ecosystem-based approaches to managing North American inland fishes and fisheries in a changing climate.

  11. Marine ecosystem appropriation in the Indo-Pacific: a case study of the live reef fish food trade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, Kimberley; Sadovy, Yvonne; Cesar, Herman

    2003-01-01

    Our ecological footprint analyses of coral reef fish fisheries and, in particular, the live reef fish food trade (FT), indicate many countries' current consumption exceeds estimated sustainable per capita global, regional and local coral reef production levels. Hong Kong appropriates 25% of SE Asia's annual reef fish production of 135 260-286 560 tonnes (t) through its FT demand, exceeding regional biocapacity by 8.3 times; reef fish fisheries demand out-paces sustainable production in the Indo-Pacific and SE Asia by 2.5 and 6 times. In contrast, most Pacific islands live within their own reef fisheries means with local demand at Indo-Pacific.

  12. Microbial and sponge loops modify fish production in phase-shifting coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silveira, Cynthia B; Silva-Lima, Arthur W; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B; Marques, Jomar S M; Almeida, Marcelo G; Thompson, Cristiane C; Rezende, Carlos E; Paranhos, Rodolfo; Moura, Rodrigo L; Salomon, Paulo S; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2015-10-01

    Shifts from coral to algae dominance of corals reefs have been correlated to fish biomass loss and increased microbial metabolism. Here we investigated reef benthic and planktonic primary production, benthic dissolved organic carbon (DOC) release and bacterial growth efficiency in the Abrolhos Bank, South Atlantic. Benthic DOC release rates are higher while water column bacterial growth efficiency is lower at impacted reefs. A trophic model based on the benthic and planktonic primary production was able to predict the observed relative fish biomass in healthy reefs. In contrast, in impacted reefs, the observed omnivorous fish biomass is higher, while that of the herbivorous/coralivorous fish is lower than predicted by the primary production-based model. Incorporating recycling of benthic-derived carbon in the model through microbial and sponge loops explains the difference and predicts the relative fish biomass in both reef types. Increased benthic carbon release rates and bacterial carbon metabolism, but decreased bacterial growth efficiency could lead to carbon losses through respiration and account for the uncoupling of benthic and fish production in phase-shifting reefs. Carbon recycling by microbial and sponge loops seems to promote an increase of small-bodied fish productivity in phase-shifting coral reefs. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Widespread microplastic ingestion by fish assemblages in tropical estuaries subjected to anthropogenic pressures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vendel, A.L.; Bessa, F.; Alves, V.E.N.; Amorim, A.L.A.; Patrício, J.; Palma, A.R.T.

    2017-01-01

    Our aim was to quantify microplastic ingestion by fish assemblages in two tropical Brazilian estuaries and to evaluate whether biological and ecological factors influence the ingestion of microplastics by fish species. Of 2233 fish from both estuaries (from 69 species) examined in this study, 9% of the individuals (24 species) had microplastics in their gut contents. Microplastic ingestion occurred irrespective of fish size and functional group. The diet of fish species was analyzed based on prey items identified in the fish's full stomach contents and five feeding guilds were defined. Microplastics were common throughout all feeding guilds. Low (average ingestion values 1.06 ± 0.30 items/total fish) but widespread occurrence among estuaries also indicates proliferation of microplastic pollution. Our findings highlight the need to focus on assemblage level studies to understand the real magnitude of the problem and emphasize the urgency of mitigation measures directed at microplastic pollution in estuarine ecosystems. - Highlights: • We analyzed microplastic ingestion in 69 fish species collected along two estuaries. • Microplastic ingestion was widespread in fish assemblages in two tropical estuaries. • Microplastic ingestion was independent of fish size and fish functional groups. • Microplastics were observed in fish from five different feeding guilds. • The level of anthropogenic pressures did not influence microplastic ingestion.

  14. Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how predators select their prey can provide important insights into community structure and dynamics. However, the suite of prey species available to a predator is often spatially and temporally variable. As a result, species-specific selectivity data are of limited use for predicting novel predator-prey interactions because they are assemblage specific. We present a method for predicting diet selection that is applicable across prey assemblages, based on identifying general morphological and behavioural traits of prey that confer vulnerability to predation independent of species identity. We apply this trait-based approach to examining prey selection by Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), invasive predators that prey upon species-rich reef fish communities and are rapidly spreading across the western Atlantic. We first generate hypotheses about morphological and behavioural traits recurring across fish species that could facilitate or deter predation by lionfish. Constructing generalized linear mixed-effects models that account for relatedness among prey taxa, we test whether these traits predict patterns of diet selection by lionfish within two independent data sets collected at different spatial scales: (i) in situ visual observations of prey consumption and availability for individual lionfish and (ii) comparisons of prey abundance in lionfish stomach contents to availability on invaded reefs at large. Both analyses reveal that a number of traits predicted to affect vulnerability to predation, including body size, body shape, position in the water column and aggregation behaviour, are important determinants of diet selection by lionfish. Small, shallow-bodied, solitary fishes found resting on or just above reefs are the most vulnerable. Fishes that exhibit parasite cleaning behaviour experience a significantly lower risk of predation than non-cleaning fishes, and fishes that are nocturnally active are at significantly

  15. Productivity and fishing pressure drive variability in fish parasite assemblages of the Line Islands, equatorial Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L; Baum, Julia K; Reddy, Sheila M W; Trebilco, Rowan; Sandin, Stuart A; Zgliczynski, Brian J; Briggs, Amy A; Micheli, Fiorenza

    2015-05-01

    Variability in primary productivity and fishing pressure can shape the abundance, species composition, and diversity of marine life. Though parasites comprise nearly half of marine species, their responses to these important forces remain little explored. We quantified parasite assemblages at two spatial scales, across a gradient in productivity and fishing pressure that spans six coral islands of the Line Islands archipelago and within the largest Line Island, Kiritimati, which experiences a west-to-east gradient in fishing pressure and upwelling-driven productivity. In the across-islands data set, we found that increasing productivity was correlated with increased parasite abundance overall, but that the effects of productivity differed among parasite groups. Trophically transmitted parasites increased in abundance with increasing productivity, but directly transmitted parasites did not exhibit significant changes. This probably arises because productivity has stronger effects on the abundance of the planktonic crustaceans and herbivorous snails that serve as the intermediate hosts of trophically transmitted parasites than on the higher-trophic level fishes that are the sole hosts of directly transmitted parasites. We also found that specialist parasites increased in response to increasing productivity, while generalists did not, possibly because specialist parasites tend to be more strongly limited by host availability than are generalist parasites. After the effect of productivity was controlled for, fishing was correlated with decreases in the abundance of trophically transmitted parasites, while directly transmitted parasites appeared to track host density; we observed increases in the abundance of parasites using hosts that experienced fishing-driven compensatory increases in abundance. The within-island data set confirmed these patterns for the combined effects of productivity and fishing on parasite abundance, suggesting that our conclusions are robust

  16. A role for partially protected areas on coral reefs: Maintaining fish diversity?

    KAUST Repository

    Tyler, Elizabeth

    2011-04-15

    1. Completely banning fishing from coral reefs is now accepted to have significant benefits for marine biodiversity and in many cases, fisheries. However, the benefits of regulating fishing on coral reefs, by restricting the methods used, or the total amount of fishing, are less well understood, even though such regulations are much more likely to be supported by fishermen. 2. This study assesses whether banning illegal, destructive fishing methods and reducing the numbers of fishermen visiting from outside an area benefits a coral reef fishery, despite unregulated fishing by local fishermen using non-destructive methods. 3. The abundance, biomass, mean length, and species richness of nine commercially important fish families are compared across ten independent patch reefs inside and outside the 470km2 Menai Bay Conservation Area in Zanzibar, Tanzania. 4. Even after taking into account the effect of differences in habitat and the distance between reefs, 61% (±19.7%) more fish species were found in regulated than unregulated reefs. Fish abundance, biomass, and length were not affected, suggesting that banning destructive fishing may improve biodiversity, but that further regulations may be required to improve fish stocks. © 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  17. Fish assemblage structure and habitat associations in a large western river system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, C.D.; Quist, Michael C.; Hardy, R. S.

    2016-01-01

    Longitudinal gradients of fish assemblage and habitat structure were investigated in the Kootenai River of northern Idaho. A total of 43 500-m river reaches was sampled repeatedly with several techniques (boat-mounted electrofishing, hoop nets and benthic trawls) in the summers of 2012 and 2013. Differences in habitat and fish assemblage structure were apparent along the longitudinal gradient of the Kootenai River. Habitat characteristics (e.g. depth, substrate composition and water velocity) were related to fish assemblage structure in three different geomorphic river sections. Upper river sections were characterized by native salmonids (e.g. mountain whitefish Prosopium williamsoni), whereas native cyprinids (peamouth Mylocheilus caurinus, northern pikeminnow Ptychocheilus oregonensis) and non-native fishes (pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus, yellow perch Perca flavescens) were common in the downstream section. Overall, a general pattern of species addition from upstream to downstream sections was discovered and is likely related to increased habitat complexity and additions of non-native species in downstream sections. Assemblage structure of the upper sections were similar, but were both dissimilar to the lower section of the Kootenai River. Species-specific hurdle regressions indicated the relationships among habitat characteristics and the predicted probability of occurrence and relative abundance varied by species. Understanding fish assemblage structure in relation to habitat could improve conservation efforts of rare fishes and improve management of coldwater river systems.

  18. Impacts of exotic mangroves and mangrove control on tide pool fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard A. MacKenzie; Cailtin L. Kryss

    2013-01-01

    Fish were sampled from tide pools in Hawaii to determine how exotic mangroves Rhizophora mangle and the use of herbicides to chemically eradicate them are impacting tide pool fish assemblages. Ecological parameters were compared among mangrove-invaded, native vegetated, and non-vegetated tide pools before and after mangroves had been chemically...

  19. Invasive lionfish drive Atlantic coral reef fish declines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie J Green

    Full Text Available Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles have spread swiftly across the Western Atlantic, producing a marine predator invasion of unparalleled speed and magnitude. There is growing concern that lionfish will affect the structure and function of invaded marine ecosystems, however detrimental impacts on natural communities have yet to be measured. Here we document the response of native fish communities to predation by lionfish populations on nine coral reefs off New Providence Island, Bahamas. We assessed lionfish diet through stomach contents analysis, and quantified changes in fish biomass through visual surveys of lionfish and native fishes at the sites over time. Lionfish abundance increased rapidly between 2004 and 2010, by which time lionfish comprised nearly 40% of the total predator biomass in the system. The increase in lionfish abundance coincided with a 65% decline in the biomass of the lionfish's 42 Atlantic prey fishes in just two years. Without prompt action to control increasing lionfish populations, similar effects across the region may have long-term negative implications for the structure of Atlantic marine communities, as well as the societies and economies that depend on them.

  20. Invasive lionfish drive Atlantic coral reef fish declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Akins, John L; Maljković, Aleksandra; Côté, Isabelle M

    2012-01-01

    Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) have spread swiftly across the Western Atlantic, producing a marine predator invasion of unparalleled speed and magnitude. There is growing concern that lionfish will affect the structure and function of invaded marine ecosystems, however detrimental impacts on natural communities have yet to be measured. Here we document the response of native fish communities to predation by lionfish populations on nine coral reefs off New Providence Island, Bahamas. We assessed lionfish diet through stomach contents analysis, and quantified changes in fish biomass through visual surveys of lionfish and native fishes at the sites over time. Lionfish abundance increased rapidly between 2004 and 2010, by which time lionfish comprised nearly 40% of the total predator biomass in the system. The increase in lionfish abundance coincided with a 65% decline in the biomass of the lionfish's 42 Atlantic prey fishes in just two years. Without prompt action to control increasing lionfish populations, similar effects across the region may have long-term negative implications for the structure of Atlantic marine communities, as well as the societies and economies that depend on them.

  1. Large-scale, multidirectional larval connectivity among coral reef fish populations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    KAUST Repository

    Williamson, David H.

    2016-11-15

    Larval dispersal is the key process by which populations of most marine fishes and invertebrates are connected and replenished. Advances in larval tagging and genetics have enhanced our capacity to track larval dispersal, assess scales of population connectivity, and quantify larval exchange among no-take marine reserves and fished areas. Recent studies have found that reserves can be a significant source of recruits for populations up to 40 km away, but the scale and direction of larval connectivity across larger seascapes remain unknown. Here, we apply genetic parentage analysis to investigate larval dispersal patterns for two exploited coral reef groupers (Plectropomus maculatus and Plectropomus leopardus) within and among three clusters of reefs separated by 60–220 km within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia. A total of 69 juvenile P. maculatus and 17 juvenile P. leopardus (representing 6% and 9% of the total juveniles sampled, respectively) were genetically assigned to parent individuals on reefs within the study area. We identified both short-distance larval dispersal within regions (200 m to 50 km) and long-distance, multidirectional dispersal of up to ~250 km among regions. Dispersal strength declined significantly with distance, with best-fit dispersal kernels estimating median dispersal distances of ~110 km for P. maculatus and ~190 km for P. leopardus. Larval exchange among reefs demonstrates that established reserves form a highly connected network and contribute larvae for the replenishment of fished reefs at multiple spatial scales. Our findings highlight the potential for long-distance dispersal in an important group of reef fishes, and provide further evidence that effectively protected reserves can yield recruitment and sustainability benefits for exploited fish populations.

  2. Large-scale, multidirectional larval connectivity among coral reef fish populations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    KAUST Repository

    Williamson, David H.; Harrison, Hugo B.; Almany, Glenn R.; Berumen, Michael L.; Bode, Michael; Bonin, Mary C.; Choukroun, Severine; Doherty, Peter J.; Frisch, Ashley J.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Jones, Geoffrey P.

    2016-01-01

    Larval dispersal is the key process by which populations of most marine fishes and invertebrates are connected and replenished. Advances in larval tagging and genetics have enhanced our capacity to track larval dispersal, assess scales of population connectivity, and quantify larval exchange among no-take marine reserves and fished areas. Recent studies have found that reserves can be a significant source of recruits for populations up to 40 km away, but the scale and direction of larval connectivity across larger seascapes remain unknown. Here, we apply genetic parentage analysis to investigate larval dispersal patterns for two exploited coral reef groupers (Plectropomus maculatus and Plectropomus leopardus) within and among three clusters of reefs separated by 60–220 km within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia. A total of 69 juvenile P. maculatus and 17 juvenile P. leopardus (representing 6% and 9% of the total juveniles sampled, respectively) were genetically assigned to parent individuals on reefs within the study area. We identified both short-distance larval dispersal within regions (200 m to 50 km) and long-distance, multidirectional dispersal of up to ~250 km among regions. Dispersal strength declined significantly with distance, with best-fit dispersal kernels estimating median dispersal distances of ~110 km for P. maculatus and ~190 km for P. leopardus. Larval exchange among reefs demonstrates that established reserves form a highly connected network and contribute larvae for the replenishment of fished reefs at multiple spatial scales. Our findings highlight the potential for long-distance dispersal in an important group of reef fishes, and provide further evidence that effectively protected reserves can yield recruitment and sustainability benefits for exploited fish populations.

  3. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  4. Influence of Palythoa caribaeorum (Anthozoa, Cnidaria zonation on site-attached reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José P. Mendonça-Neto

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available This work aimed to test the influence of Palythoa caribeorum, a widely distributed zoanthid in the Atlantic, on site-attached reef fish in a subtropical rocky shore. Density, richness and vertical distribution of reef fish inside (ID and outside (OD previously chosen P. caribaeorum dominance patches were compared through stationary visual censuses along three different periods. Fishes were grouped in different trophic guilds to evidence differences in resources uses in both treatments. A complexity index was estimated by the chain link method and percentage covering of benthic organisms was obtained analyzing random points from replicated photo-quadrats. We observed thirty-eight species of fishes, belonging to twenty-five families. Reef fish communities between studied patches were similar,both in terms of species composition and vertical distribution. Considering only the most site-attached fishes, which were the most frequent and abundant species, data showed that ID sustains higher diversity and abundance than OD. Results showed that benthic composition differ significantly among patches whereas complexity remained without differences. Otherwise, results indicated that these areas might play an important role in space limitation, structuring neighboring benthic community and consequently reef fish assemblages.Este estudo visou testar a influência de Palythoa caribeorum, um zoantídeo amplamente distribuído no Atlântico, na estruturação da comunidade de peixes recifais associados a um costão rochoso de uma região subtropical. A densidade, a riqueza e a distribuição vertical de peixes recifais em áreas previamente selecionadas com e sem a dominância de Palythoa caribaeorum foram comparadas através de censos visuais estacionários em três períodos distintos de tempo. Os peixes foram agrupados em guildas tróficas a fim de evidenciar diferenças nos usos dos recursos nas diferentes áreas analisadas. Foram analisados também

  5. Distribution patterns of fish assemblages in an Eastern Mediterranean intermittent river

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vardakas L.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The distribution patterns of fish assemblages within streams can provide insights for river type classifications and may warrant specific conservation actions. However, there is limited knowledge of how fish assemblages assort along a longitudinal axis in Mediterranean intermittent streams. Patterns in spatial and temporal distribution of fish communities were analysed in a Mediterranean intermittent river (Evrotas River located in Southern Greece, hosting three endemic range restricted species of high conservation concern, during the period 2007−2009, with 80% of the river’s total length desiccating in the 2007 and 2008 droughts. The general trend was an increase in fish density and species richness along an upstream-downstream gradient. Fish assemblages from upstream to downstream were characterized by a decrease of the most rheophilic species (Squalius keadicus and an increase of the most stagnophilic species (Tropidophoxinellus spartiaticus. Three river segments, characterized by a high degree of homogeneity were delineated. Habitat and environmental preferences for the studied fish species were identified, with elevation and low flowing habitats being the most important environmental factors affecting fish distribution patterns. The current study provides evidence that even in an intermittent river an assemblage pattern following a longitudinal gradient can be identified, mainly due to the lack of instream barriers that allows recolonization after flow resumption.

  6. A multi-scaled approach to evaluating the fish assemblage structure within southern Appalachian streams USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirsch, Joseph; Peterson, James T.

    2014-01-01

    There is considerable uncertainty about the relative roles of stream habitat and landscape characteristics in structuring stream-fish assemblages. We evaluated the relative importance of environmental characteristics on fish occupancy at the local and landscape scales within the upper Little Tennessee River basin of Georgia and North Carolina. Fishes were sampled using a quadrat sample design at 525 channel units within 48 study reaches during two consecutive years. We evaluated species–habitat relationships (local and landscape factors) by developing hierarchical, multispecies occupancy models. Modeling results suggested that fish occupancy within the Little Tennessee River basin was primarily influenced by stream topology and topography, urban land coverage, and channel unit types. Landscape scale factors (e.g., urban land coverage and elevation) largely controlled the fish assemblage structure at a stream-reach level, and local-scale factors (i.e., channel unit types) influenced fish distribution within stream reaches. Our study demonstrates the utility of a multi-scaled approach and the need to account for hierarchy and the interscale interactions of factors influencing assemblage structure prior to monitoring fish assemblages, developing biological management plans, or allocating management resources throughout a stream system.

  7. Presence of riparian vegetation increases biotic condition of fish assemblages in two Brazilian reservoirs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Cop Ferreira

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The riparian vegetation in lakes and reservoirs is source of course wood structures such as trunks and branches and is used as sheltering, spawning and foraging habitats for fishes. The reduction of these submerged structures can thus, affect the composition and structure of fish assemblages in reservoirs. Aim To evaluate the influence of riparian vegetation on the biotic condition of fish assemblage by adapting the Reservoir Fish Assemblage Index (RFAI to two reservoirs in the Upper Paranapanema river basin, São Paulo State, Brazil. Methods The RFAI was adapted from metrics related to the functional characteristics and composition of fish assemblages through a protocol of metric selection and validation, and to its response to the presence of riparian vegetation. Results The final RFAI was composed by nine metrics, been lower in sites without riparian vegetation as consequence of the predominance of larger individuals and the percent of piscivorous and detritivorous fishes. Conclusions These results suggest that increasing shore habitat complexity in reservoirs by maintaining riparian vegetation increases fish biotic integrity.

  8. Order of arrival affects competition in two reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geange, Shane W; Stier, Adrian C

    2009-10-01

    Many communities experience repeated periods of colonization due to seasonally regenerating habitats or pulsed arrival of young-of-year. When an individual's persistence in a community depends upon the strength of competitive interactions, changes in the timing of arrival relative to the arrival of a competitor can modify competitive strength and, ultimately, establishment in the community. We investigated whether the strength of intracohort competitive interactions between recent settlers of the reef fishes Thalassoma hardwicke and T. quinquevittatum are dependent on the sequence and temporal separation of their arrival into communities. To achieve this, we manipulated the sequence and timing of arrival of each species onto experimental patch reefs by simulating settlement pulses and monitoring survival and aggressive interactions. Both species survived best in the absence of competitors, but when competitors were present, they did best when they arrived at the same time. Survival declined as each species entered the community progressively later than its competitor and as aggression by its competitor increased. Intraspecific effects of resident T. hardwicke were similar to interspecific effects. This study shows that the strength of competition depends not only on the identity of competitors, but also on the sequence and timing of their interactions, suggesting that when examining interaction strengths, it is important to identify temporal variability in the direction and magnitude of their effects. Furthermore, our findings provide empirical evidence for the importance of competitive lotteries in the maintenance of species diversity in demographically open marine systems.

  9. SPECTRAL AND SPATIAL SELECTIVITY OF LUMINANCE VISION IN REEF FISH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike E Siebeck

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Luminance vision has high spatial resolution and is used for form vision and texture discrimination. In humans, birds and bees luminance channel is spectrally selective – it depends on the signals of the long-wavelength sensitive photoreceptors (bees or on the sum of long- and middle- wavelength sensitive cones (humans, but not on the signal of the short-wavelength sensitive (blue photoreceptors. The reasons of such selectivity are not fully understood. The aim of this study is to reveal the inputs of cone signals to high resolution luminance vision in reef fish. 16 freshly caught damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, were trained to discriminate stimuli differing either in their colour or in their fine patterns (stripes vs. cheques. Three colours (‘bright green’, ‘dark green’ and ‘blue’ were used to create two sets of colour and two sets of pattern stimuli. The ‘bright green’ and ‘dark green’ were similar in their chromatic properties for fish, but differed in their lightness; the ‘dark green’ differed from ‘blue’ in the signal for the blue cone, but yielded similar signals in the long-wavelength and middle-wavelength cones. Fish easily learned to discriminate ‘bright green’ from ‘dark green’ and ‘dark green’ from ‘blue’ stimuli. Fish also could discriminate the fine patterns created from ‘dark green’ and ‘bright green’. However, fish failed to discriminate fine patterns created from ‘blue’ and ‘dark green’ colours, i.e. the colours that provided contrast for the blue-sensitive photoreceptor, but not for the long-wavelength sensitive one. High resolution luminance vision in damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, does not have input from the blue-sensitive cone, which may indicate that the spectral selectivity of luminance channel is a general feature of visual processing in both aquatic and terrestrial animals.

  10. Evidence for protection of targeted reef fish on the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pina-Amargós, Fabián; González-Sansón, Gaspar; Martín-Blanco, Félix; Valdivia, Abel

    2014-01-01

    Marine reserves can restore fish abundance and diversity in areas impacted by overfishing, but the effectiveness of reserves in developing countries where resources for enforcement are limited, have seldom been evaluated. Here we assess whether the establishment in 1996 of the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean, Gardens of the Queen in Cuba, has had a positive effect on the abundance of commercially valuable reef fish species in relation to neighboring unprotected areas. We surveyed 25 sites, including two reef habitats (reef crest and reef slope), inside and outside the marine reserve, on five different months, and over a one-and-a-half year period. Densities of the ten most frequent, highly targeted, and relatively large fish species showed a significant variability across the archipelago for both reef habitats that depended on the month of survey. These ten species showed a tendency towards higher abundance inside the reserve in both reef habitats for most months during the study. Average fish densities pooled by protection level, however, showed that five out of these ten species were at least two-fold significantly higher inside than outside the reserve at one or both reef habitats. Supporting evidence from previously published studies in the area indicates that habitat complexity and major benthic communities were similar inside and outside the reserve, while fishing pressure appeared to be homogeneous across the archipelago before reserve establishment. Although poaching may occur within the reserve, especially at the boundaries, effective protection from fishing was the most plausible explanation for the patterns observed.

  11. High spatial variability of coral, sponges and gorgonian assemblages in a well preserved reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia González-Díaz

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of this research was to obtain baseline field data of the composition of sponges, corals, and gorgonian assemblages that can be used as a reference for future analyses of anthropogenic impact. We tested the hypothesis that relatively homogeneous and well preserved reef units can present notable natural variability in the composition of their communities which are unassociated with changes in land proximity or a human impact gradient. Research was carried out in July 2006 at Los Colorados reef, located in the northwestern region of Pinar del Río Province, Cuba at 12 sampling stations. The biotopes selected were crest, terrace edge and spur and grove. Ecological indicators were diversity of corals, species composition, density of corals, hydrocorals, gorgonians and sponges, and density of selected coral species. A total of 2659 colonies of scleractineans corals representing 36 species were counted. The most abundant species in the crest biotope were Millepora alcicornis, Acropora palmata and Porites astreoides; in the terrace edge and spur and grove, the most abundant species were Siderastrea siderea, Stephanocoenia intersepta, Porites astreoides, Agaricia agaricites and Montastraea cavernosa. We found differences among sites for several indicators (e.g. density of corals, sponges and gorgonians and for selected species, but they could not be associated to any gradient of land influence or human impact. Therefore, sites inside a relatively homogeneous reef unit can present notable natural differences in the composition of their communities. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (2: 621-634. Epub 2010 June 02.El objetivo principal de la investigación fue obtener una línea base de la composición de las comunidades de esponjas, corales y gorgonias que pueda ser utilizada como referencia para futuros análisis de impacto antrópico. Nuestra hipótesis es que un arrecife relativamente homogéneo y bien conservado, presenta una variabilidad natural

  12. Bottom fish assemblages at the shelf and continental slope off East Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Ole A; Hvingel, Carsten; Møller, P.R.

    2015-01-01

    During 2006 and 2008 two bottom trawl surveys were conducted at East Greenland to 72°N covering depths down to 1500 m. In the 149 trawl hauls in total 113 fish species were recorded of which 37 were considered pelagic and excluded from the analyses. As a first step the abundance data for the 76...... benthic species were used for analyses of the fish fauna diversity and fish assemblages. Nine assemblages were found by a standard type of cluster analysis. A Bayesian multinomial logit model was then applied to calculate vectors of probabilities defining the likelihood of each haul belonging to each...... distribution, species composition, temperature and depth. Three of the assemblages were located in the cold Iceland Sea while six were found in the somewhat warmer Irminger Sea...

  13. The Impact of Marine Protected Areas on Reef-Wide Population Structure and Fishing-Induced Phenotypes in Coral-Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fidler, Robert Young, III

    Overfishing and destructive fishing practices threaten the sustainability of fisheries worldwide. In addition to reducing population sizes, anthropogenic fishing effort is highly size-selective, preferentially removing the largest individuals from harvested stocks. Intensive, size-selective mortality induces widespread phenotypic shifts toward the predominance of smaller and earlier-maturing individuals. Fish that reach sexual maturity at smaller size and younger age produce fewer, smaller, and less viable larvae, severely reducing the reproductive capacity of exploited populations. These directional phenotypic alterations, collectively known as "fisheries-induced evolution" (FIE) are among the primary causes of the loss of harvestable fish biomass. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are one of the most widely utilized components of fisheries management programs around the world, and have been proposed as a potential mechanism by which the impacts of FIE may be mitigated. The ability of MPAs to buffer exploited populations against fishing pressure, however, remains debated due to inconsistent results across studies. Additionally, empirical evidence of phenotypic shifts in fishes within MPAs is lacking. This investigation addresses both of these issues by: (1) using a categorical meta-analysis of MPAs to standardize and quantify the magnitude of MPA impacts across studies; and (2) conducting a direct comparison of life-history phenotypes known to be influenced by FIE in six reef-fish species inside and outside of MPAs. The Philippines was used as a model system for analyses due to the country's significance in global marine biodiversity and reliance on MPAs as a fishery management tool. The quantitative impact of Philippine MPAs was assessed using a "reef-wide" meta-analysis. This analysis used pooled visual census data from 39 matched pairs of MPAs and fished reefs surveyed twice over a mean period of 3 years. In 17 of these MPAs, two additional surveys were conducted

  14. Body Size Shifts in Philippine Reef Fishes: Interfamilial Variation in Responses to Protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Y. Fidler

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available As a consequence of intense fishing pressure, fished populations experience reduced population sizes and shifts in body size toward the predominance of smaller and early maturing individuals. Small, early-maturing fish exhibit significantly reduced reproductive output and, ultimately, reduced fitness. As part of resource management and biodiversity conservation programs worldwide, no-take marine protected areas (MPAs are expected to ameliorate the adverse effects of fishing pressure. In an attempt to advance our understanding of how coral reef MPAs meet their long-term goals, this study used visual census data from 23 MPAs and fished reefs in the Philippines to address three questions: (1 Do MPAs promote shifts in fish body size frequency distribution towards larger body sizes when compared to fished reefs? (2 Do MPA size and (3 age contribute to the efficacy of MPAs in promoting such shifts? This study revealed that across all MPAs surveyed, the distribution of fishes between MPAs and fished reefs were similar; however, large-bodied fish were more abundant within MPAs, along with small, young-of-the-year individuals. Additionally, there was a significant shift in body size frequency distribution towards larger body sizes in 12 of 23 individual reef sites surveyed. Of 22 fish families, eleven demonstrated significantly different body size frequency distributions between MPAs and fished reefs, indicating that shifts in the size spectrum of fishes in response to protection are family-specific. Family-level shifts demonstrated a significant, positive correlation with MPA age, indicating that MPAs become more effective at increasing the density of large-bodied fish within their boundaries over time.

  15. Demersal fish assemblages off southern New Zealand in relation to depth and temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, W.; McClatchie, S.; Probert, P. K.; Hurst, R. J.

    1998-12-01

    We examined the relationship between demersal fish assemblage and depth, temperature, latitude and longitude off southern New Zealand (46-54°S and 165-180°E) in water depths of 80-787 m. Catch weight data were analysed by two-way indicator analysis (TWIA), groupaverage agglomerative clustering (UPGMA) and Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). The spatial pattern of demersal fish off southern New Zealand conforms to the concept of species groups or fish assemblages related to environmental gradients. Shallow-water assemblages were dominated by species from the families Gempylidae, Squalidae, Triakidae and Moridae, mainly represented by Thyrsites atun, Squalus acanthias, Galeorhinus australis, and Pseudophycis bachus. Deep water assemblages were dominated by Chimaeridae, Argentinidae, Merlucciidae and Macrouridae, mainly represented by Hydrolagus novaezelandiae, Argentina elongata, Macruronus novaezelandiae, and Lepidorhynchus denticulatus. Total catch weight was often dominated by Merlucciidae, Macrouridae and Gempylidae. Fish assemblages were related to discrete ranges of depth (300 m) and temperature (9.5°C), but the range of sediment types was too narrow to show any correlation.

  16. Influence of environmental factors on fish assemblages in streams of the Elbe and Oder basins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luboš Kůra

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The effects of environmental parameters on changes in the structure of fish assemblages were studied in the Elbe and the Odra basin. Research was done at 819 sites surveyed in the field during the period 1993-2007. The impact of 46 factors derived from the maps through a GIS was tested as well as the impact of 10 factors recognized in the field. To evaluate the influence of these factors the indirect (DCA and direct (CCA multivariate cluster analysis were used. Analyses were performed with data on presence-absence and relative abundance of each species. DCA well reflects changes in assemblages in the longitudinal profile of streams. CCA refers to a significant influence of regional and temporal variability and influence of individual factors. The fish assemblages are best characterized by distance from the source location, stream slope, altitude of locality, representation of arable land in the basin, number of ponds in the sub-basin above the locality, type of waters (salmonid or cyprinid, and water temperature (the only of the parameters of the field. The analyzed factors better reflect the variability in fish assemblages of the Odra than of Elbe river basin. The analysis showed good practical efficiency of processing information from a large sample of data from ichthyological surveys. The tools of GIS and the use of statistical methods make possible to characterize basic ecological requirements of most species and specify conditions determining specific composition of fish assemblages.

  17. Role of riparian shade on the fish assemblage of a reservoir littoral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raines, C. D.; Miranda, Leandro E.

    2016-01-01

    Research into the effects of shade on reservoir fish assemblages is lacking, with most investigations focused on streams. Unlike many streams, the canopy in a reservoir shades only a narrow fringe of water adjacent to the shoreline, and may not have the influential effect on the aquatic environment reported in streams. We compared fish assemblages between shaded and unshaded sites in a shallow reservoir. Overall species richness (gamma diversity) was higher in shaded sites, and fish assemblage composition differed between shaded and unshaded sites. Average light intensity was 66 % lower in shaded sites, and differences in average temperature and dissolved oxygen were small. Unlike streams where shade can have large effects on water physicochemistry, in reservoirs shade-related differences in fish assemblages seemed to be linked principally to differences in light intensity. Diversity in light intensity in shaded and unshaded sites in reservoirs can create various mosaics of light-based habitats that enable diversity of species assemblages. Managing to promote the habitat diversity provided by shade may require coping with the artificial nature of reservoir riparian zones and water level fluctuations.

  18. Coral reef fish biomass and benthic cover data from Timor-Leste in June 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral reef fish and benthos were surveyed at 150 shallow-water coral reef sites across the north coast of Timor-Leste and around Atauro Island in June 2013 during a...

  19. Fish with Chips: Tracking Reef Fish Movements to Evaluate Size and Connectivity of Caribbean Marine Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Simon J.; Monaco, Mark E.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Legare, Bryan; Nemeth, Richard S.; Kendall, Matthew S.; Poti, Matthew; Clark, Randall D.; Wedding, Lisa M.; Caldow, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves) for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families) moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40–64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness. PMID:24797815

  20. Fish with chips: tracking reef fish movements to evaluate size and connectivity of Caribbean marine protected areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon J Pittman

    Full Text Available Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40-64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness.

  1. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1981 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  2. Acoustic Tracking of Fish Movements in Coral Reef Ecosystems in St John (USVI), 2006-2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Acoustic Tracking of Reef Fishes to Elucidate Habitat Utilization Patterns and Residence Times Inside and Outside Marine Protected Areas Around the Island of St....

  3. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1985 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  4. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1994 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  5. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1998 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  6. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1993 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  7. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1996 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  8. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1982 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  9. Microhabitat Association of Cryptobenthic Reef Fishes (Teleostei: Gobiidae) in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Troyer, Emily

    2018-01-01

    that have close associations with the substrate. These fishes can be behaviorally cryptic, by seeking refuge within the reef matrix, or visually cryptic, using cryptic coloration to match the surrounding habitat. These factors make visual surveys inadequate

  10. Avoiding conflicts and protecting coral reefs: Customary management benefits marine habitats and fish biomass

    KAUST Repository

    Campbell, Stuart J.; Cinner, Joshua E.; Ardiwijaya, Rizya L.; Pardede, Shinta T.; Kartawijaya, Tasrif; Mukmunin, Ahmad; Herdiana, Yudi; Hoey, Andrew; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Baird, Andrew Hamilton

    2012-01-01

    Abstract One of the major goals of coral reef conservation is to determine the most effective means of managing marine resources in regions where economic conditions often limit the options available. For example, no-take fishing areas can

  11. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1984 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  12. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1989 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  13. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1997 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  14. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1983 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  15. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1980 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  16. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1988 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  17. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1992 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  18. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1990 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  19. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1991 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  20. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1986 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  1. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1987 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  2. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1979 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  3. Prediction of reef fish spawning aggregations using remote sensing: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosli, M R; Ibrahim, A L; Masron, T

    2014-01-01

    Spawning aggregation is a very important occurrence to particular reef fish species as they use this opportunity to reproduce. However, due to their predictable nature, these aggregations have always been vulnerable to overexploitation. This problem leads to the importance of identifying the exact time and location for reef fish spawning aggregation. Thus, this paper review a little bit about spawning aggregation of reef fish as well as their characteristics, and problems regarding this phenomena. The use of remote sensing in marine applications is also described here in order to discuss how remote sensing can be utilize to predict reef fish spawning aggregation. Based on the unique geomorphological characteristics of the spawning aggregation, remote sensing seems to be a powerful tool to determine their exact times and locations. It has been proved that satellite imagery was able to delineate specific reef geomorphologies such as shelf edges and reef promontories. Despite of the widely use of remote sensing in marine applications, in fact there are still lack of studies had been carried out regarding spawning aggregations of reef fish due to the skeptical point-of-view by certain researchers over the capability of this technique. However, there is actually no doubt that the use of remote sensing will provide a better hand to the authorities in order to establish a more effective monitoring and conservation plan for these spawning aggregations

  4. 76 FR 59377 - Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-26

    ... lobster, and aquarium trade species identified by the Secretary as not undergoing overfishing; allocate... effect of the 2011 Caribbean ACL Amendment is prevent overfishing of reef fish, spiny lobster and... be subject to overfishing, ACLs must be established at a level that prevents overfishing and helps to...

  5. Spatial and temporal structure of fish assemblages in an ''inverse estuary'', the Sine Saloum system (Senegal)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simier, M.; Blanc, L.; Aliaume, C.; Diouf, P. S.; Albaret, J. J.

    2004-01-01

    As a consequence of the Sahelian drought, the Sine Saloum, a large estuarine system located in Senegal (West Africa), has become an "inverse estuary" since the late sixties, i.e. salinity increases upstream and reaches 100 in some places. To study the fish assemblages of such a modified system, a survey was conducted in 1992, collecting fish every two months with a purse seine at eight sites spread over the three main branches of the estuary. A total of 73 species belonging to 35 families were identified. Eight species comprised 97% of the total numbers of fish. The predominant species was a small clupeid, Sardinella maderensis, representing more than half of the total biomass and nearly 70% of the total number of fish. The spatio-temporal structure of the fish assemblages was studied using the STATIS-CoA method, which combines the multitable approach with the correspondence analysis method. Whatever the season, a strong spatial organization of fish assemblages was observed, mainly related to depth and salinity. Three types of assemblages were identified. In shallow water areas, fish assemblages were dominated by Mugilidae, Gerreidae and Cichlidae and were stable with time. In open water areas, large fluctuations in the species composition were observed, due to the occasional presence of large schools of pelagic species: in the southern area, where salinity and water transparency were the lowest, the main species were Ilisha africana, Brachydeuterus auritus and Chloroscombrus chrysurus, associated with a few Sciaenidae and Tetraodontidae, while the poorest areas were characterized by only two dominant species, S. maderensis and Scomberomorus tritor.

  6. Diel variation in the structure of fish assemblages in south western Amazon streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor David da Costa

    Full Text Available Abstract: Aim We investigate the influence of luminosity, habitat conservation and pluviometric periods in fish assemblages of in pasture and forest small streams in western amazon. Methods Sampling was conducted every two months from July 2013 to April 2014 in nine first- and second-order streams using seine nets and dip nets during the day and night. Fish composition, richness and total abundance were determined for each sampling period. The PERMANOVA was used to evaluate the effects of land use, season, and photoperiod, on fish assemblages. Fish assemblage structure for each stream in the presence and absence of photoperiod was ordered by NMDS analysis. Results In the light period, 3,484 specimens from 69 species were collected, while 4,574 specimens from 71 species where collected in the dark period. No significant differences in abundance and species richness were recorded between the presence and absence of luminosity periods, rainy and dry seasons and streams in forest and deforested areas. We found evidence of the dark phase composition and richness of exclusive species (22% of species collected were found at night, which were greater than in the light period (20% of species. Conclusion Despite our failure to identify any nycterohemeral segregation, the results complement existing knowledge of regional ichthyofauna and help provide a better understanding of the distributional, behavioral and functional ecological patterns of fish assemblages.

  7. Depth Refuge and the Impacts of SCUBA Spearfishing on Coral Reef Fishes

    OpenAIRE

    Lindfield, Steven J.; McIlwain, Jennifer L.; Harvey, Euan S.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, spearfishing with SCUBA has emerged as an efficient method for targeting reef fish in deeper waters. However, deeper waters are increasingly recognised as a potential source of refuge that may help sustain fishery resources. We used a combination of historical catch data over a 20-year time period and fishery-independent surveys to investigate the effects of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fish populations in the southern Mariana Islands. Two jurisdictions were studied; Gu...

  8. Large-scale assessment of Mediterranean marine protected areas effects on fish assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Guidetti

    Full Text Available Marine protected areas (MPAs were acknowledged globally as effective tools to mitigate the threats to oceans caused by fishing. Several studies assessed the effectiveness of individual MPAs in protecting fish assemblages, but regional assessments of multiple MPAs are scarce. Moreover, empirical evidence on the role of MPAs in contrasting the propagation of non-indigenous-species (NIS and thermophilic species (ThS is missing. We simultaneously investigated here the role of MPAs in reversing the effects of overfishing and in limiting the spread of NIS and ThS. The Mediterranean Sea was selected as study area as it is a region where 1 MPAs are numerous, 2 fishing has affected species and ecosystems, and 3 the arrival of NIS and the northward expansion of ThS took place. Fish surveys were done in well-enforced no-take MPAs (HP, partially-protected MPAs (IP and fished areas (F at 30 locations across the Mediterranean. Significantly higher fish biomass was found in HP compared to IP MPAs and F. Along a recovery trajectory from F to HP MPAs, IP were similar to F, showing that just well enforced MPAs triggers an effective recovery. Within HP MPAs, trophic structure of fish assemblages resembled a top-heavy biomass pyramid. Although the functional structure of fish assemblages was consistent among HP MPAs, species driving the recovery in HP MPAs differed among locations: this suggests that the recovery trajectories in HP MPAs are likely to be functionally similar (i.e., represented by predictable changes in trophic groups, especially fish predators, but the specific composition of the resulting assemblages may depend on local conditions. Our study did not show any effect of MPAs on NIS and ThS. These results may help provide more robust expectations, at proper regional scale, about the effects of new MPAs that may be established in the Mediterranean Sea and other ecoregions worldwide.

  9. Large-Scale Assessment of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas Effects on Fish Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidetti, Paolo; Baiata, Pasquale; Ballesteros, Enric; Di Franco, Antonio; Hereu, Bernat; Macpherson, Enrique; Micheli, Fiorenza; Pais, Antonio; Panzalis, Pieraugusto; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Zabala, Mikel; Sala, Enric

    2014-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) were acknowledged globally as effective tools to mitigate the threats to oceans caused by fishing. Several studies assessed the effectiveness of individual MPAs in protecting fish assemblages, but regional assessments of multiple MPAs are scarce. Moreover, empirical evidence on the role of MPAs in contrasting the propagation of non-indigenous-species (NIS) and thermophilic species (ThS) is missing. We simultaneously investigated here the role of MPAs in reversing the effects of overfishing and in limiting the spread of NIS and ThS. The Mediterranean Sea was selected as study area as it is a region where 1) MPAs are numerous, 2) fishing has affected species and ecosystems, and 3) the arrival of NIS and the northward expansion of ThS took place. Fish surveys were done in well-enforced no-take MPAs (HP), partially-protected MPAs (IP) and fished areas (F) at 30 locations across the Mediterranean. Significantly higher fish biomass was found in HP compared to IP MPAs and F. Along a recovery trajectory from F to HP MPAs, IP were similar to F, showing that just well enforced MPAs triggers an effective recovery. Within HP MPAs, trophic structure of fish assemblages resembled a top-heavy biomass pyramid. Although the functional structure of fish assemblages was consistent among HP MPAs, species driving the recovery in HP MPAs differed among locations: this suggests that the recovery trajectories in HP MPAs are likely to be functionally similar (i.e., represented by predictable changes in trophic groups, especially fish predators), but the specific composition of the resulting assemblages may depend on local conditions. Our study did not show any effect of MPAs on NIS and ThS. These results may help provide more robust expectations, at proper regional scale, about the effects of new MPAs that may be established in the Mediterranean Sea and other ecoregions worldwide. PMID:24740479

  10. Assessing effects of stocked trout on nongame fish assemblages in southern Appalachian Mountain streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, D.; Kwak, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Fisheries managers are faced with the challenge of balancing the management of recreational fisheries with that of conserving native species and preserving ecological integrity. The negative effects that nonnative trout species exert on native trout are well documented and include alteration of competitive interactions, habitat use, and production. However, the effects that nonnative trout may exert on nongame fish assemblages are poorly understood. Our objectives were to quantify the effects of trout stocking on native nongame fish assemblages intensively on one newly stocked river, the North Toe River, North Carolina, and extensively on other southern Appalachian Mountain streams that are annually stocked with trout. In the intensive study, we adopted a before-after, control-impact (BACI) experimental design to detect short-term effects on the nongame fish assemblage and found no significant differences in fish density, species richness, species diversity, or fish microhabitat use associated with trout stocking. We observed differences in fish microhabitat use between years, however, which suggests there is a response to environmental changes, such as the flow regime, which influence available habitat. In the extensive study, we sampled paired stocked and unstocked stream reaches to detect long-term effects from trout stocking; however, we detected no differences in nongame fish density, species richness, species diversity, or population size structure between paired sites. Our results revealed high inherent system variation caused by natural and anthropogenic factors that appear to overwhelm any acute or chronic effect of stocked trout. Furthermore, hatchery-reared trout may be poor competitors in a natural setting and exert a minimal or undetectable impact on native fish assemblages in these streams. These findings provide quantitative results necessary to assist agencies in strategic planning and decision making associated with trout fisheries, stream

  11. Fish assemblage dynamics in a Neotropical floodplain relative to aquatic macrophytes and the homogenizing effect of a flood pulse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, L.C.; Bulla, C. K.; Agostinho, A. A.; Vasconcelos, L. P.; Miranda, Leandro E.

    2012-01-01

    The presence of aquatic macrophytes is a key factor in the selection of habitats by fish in floodplain lakes because these plants enhance the physical and biological complexities of aquatic habitats. The seasonal flood pulse may influence this interaction, but there is no information in the literature about the effects that flood events may have on macrophytes assemblages and its associated effects on fish assemblages. Thus, this article aimed to investigate whether species richness, evenness and similarities in fish assemblage composition differed between littoral areas vegetated with macrophytes and unvegetated areas, before and after a flood. We sampled three lakes in the floodplain of the upper Paraná River basin. Sampling was conducted before (December 2004 and January 2005) and after (early March, late March and May 2005) a flood event. Overall, species richness and evenness were higher in macrophytes-covered areas. Before the flood, the composition of fish assemblages was distinct when comparing vegetated and unvegetated areas. After the flood, the similarity in fish assemblage composition was higher, indicating a homogenization effect of floods for fish inhabiting littoral areas of floodplain lakes. After the flood, opportunistic species dominated the fish assemblages in aquatic macrophytes, apparently restructuring assemblages in the littoral, restarting a succession process. Thus, the observed homogenization effect of the flood could minimize biological interactions and could induce fish assemblages to begin a new process of structurization.

  12. Fish attraction to artificial reefs not always harmful: a simulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James A; Lowry, Michael B; Suthers, Iain M

    2015-10-01

    The debate on whether artificial reefs produce new fish or simply attract existing fish biomass continues due to the difficulty in distinguishing these processes, and there remains considerable doubt as to whether artificial reefs are a harmful form of habitat modification. The harm typically associated with attraction is that fish will be easier to harvest due to the existing biomass aggregating at a newly deployed reef. This outcome of fish attraction has not progressed past an anecdotal form, however, and is always perceived as a harmful process. We present a numerical model that simulates the effect that a redistributed fish biomass, due to an artificial reef, has on fishing catch per unit effort (CPUE). This model can be used to identify the scenarios (in terms of reef, fish, and harvest characteristics) that pose the most risk of exploitation due to fish attraction. The properties of this model were compared to the long-standing predictions by Bohnsack (1989) on the factors that increase the risk or the harm of attraction. Simulations revealed that attraction is not always harmful because it does not always increase maximum fish density. Rather, attraction sometimes disperses existing fish biomass making them harder to catch. Some attraction can be ideal, with CPUE lowest when attraction leads to an equal distribution of biomass between natural and artificial reefs. Simulations also showed that the outcomes from attraction depend on the characteristics of the target fish species, such that transient or pelagic species are often at more risk of harmful attraction than resident species. Our findings generally agree with Bohnsack's predictions, although we recommend distinguishing "mobility" and "fidelity" when identifying species most at risk from attraction, as these traits had great influence on patterns of harvest of attracted fish biomass.

  13. The influence of finfish aquaculture on benthic fish and crustacean assemblages in Fitzgerald Bay, South Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason E. Tanner

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The influence of sea-cage aquaculture on wildfish assemblages has received little attention outside of Europe. Sea-cage aquaculture of finfish is a major focus in South Australia, and while the main species farmed is southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii, there is also an important yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi industry. Yellowtail kingfish aquaculture did not appear to have any local or regional effects on demersal assemblages (primarily fish, but also some crustaceans surveyed by baited remote underwater video (BRUV in Fitzgerald Bay. We did, however, detect small scale spatial variations in assemblages within the bay. The type of bait used strongly influenced the assemblage recorded, with significantly greater numbers of fish attracted to deployments where sardines were used as the bait to compared to those with no bait. The pelleted feed used by the aquaculture industry was just as attractive as sardines at one site, and intermediate between sardines and no bait at the other. There was significant temporal variability in assemblages at both farm sites and one control site, while the second control site was temporally stable (over the 9 weeks of the study. Overall, the results suggested that aquaculture was having little if any impact on the abundance and assemblage structure of the demersal macrofauna in Fitzgerald Bay.

  14. Fish assemblage relationships with physical characteristics and presence of dams in three eastern Iowa rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Clay; Nicholas L. Ahrens,; Anna K. Loan-Wilsey,; Gregory A. Simmons,; Gregory T. Gelwicks,

    2013-01-01

    Fish assemblages in rivers of the Midwestern United States are an important component of the region's natural resources and biodiversity. We characterized the physical environment and presence of dams in a series of reaches in three eastern Iowa rivers tributary to the Mississippi River and related these characteristics to the fish assemblages present. Some physical characteristics were similar among the 12 study reaches, whereas others differed substantially. We found a total of 68 species across the 12 study reaches; 56 in the Turkey River, 51 in the Maquoketa River and 50 in the Wapsipinicon River. Seventeen species could be described as ‘downstream-distributed’; 15 being found only in the lowest reach of one or more rivers and the other two being found only in the lowest reaches or two or more contiguous reaches including the lowest reach. Two species could be described as ‘upstream-distributed’, being found only in an uppermost reach. Non-metric multidimensional scaling ordination illustrated similarities among reaches, and five physical variables were significantly correlated with assemblage similarities. Catchment area and number of dams between reaches and the Mississippi River were strongly correlated with assemblage similarities, but the directions of their effects were opposite. Catchment area and number of dams were confounded. The collective evidence to date suggests that the pervasiveness of dams on rivers significantly alters fish assemblages, making underlying patterns of species change and relationships with naturally varying and human-influenced physical characteristics along a river's course difficult to discern.

  15. Disentangling the effects of a century of eutrophication and climate warming on freshwater lake fish assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter C Jacobson

    Full Text Available Eutrophication and climate warming are profoundly affecting fish in many freshwater lakes. Understanding the specific effects of these stressors is critical for development of effective adaptation and remediation strategies for conserving fish populations in a changing environment. Ecological niche models that incorporated the individual effects of nutrient concentration and climate were developed for 25 species of fish sampled in standard gillnet surveys from 1,577 Minnesota lakes. Lake phosphorus concentrations and climates were hindcasted to a pre-disturbance period of 1896-1925 using existing land use models and historical temperature data. Then historical fish assemblages were reconstructed using the ecological niche models. Substantial changes were noted when reconstructed fish assemblages were compared to those from the contemporary period (1981-2010. Disentangling the sometimes opposing, sometimes compounding, effects of eutrophication and climate warming was critical for understanding changes in fish assemblages. Reconstructed abundances of eutrophication-tolerant, warmwater taxa increased in prairie lakes that experienced significant eutrophication and climate warming. Eutrophication-intolerant, warmwater taxa abundance increased in forest lakes where primarily climate warming was the stressor. Coolwater fish declined in abundance in both ecoregions. Large changes in modeled abundance occurred when the effects of both climate and eutrophication operated in the same direction for some species. Conversely, the effects of climate warming and eutrophication operated in opposing directions for other species and dampened net changes in abundance. Quantifying the specific effects of climate and eutrophication will allow water resource managers to better understand how lakes have changed and provide expectations for sustainable fish assemblages in the future.

  16. Spatial extent and dynamics of dam impacts on tropical island freshwater fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooney, Patrick B.; Kwak, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat connectivity is vital to the persistence of migratory fishes. Native tropical island stream fish assemblages composed of diadromous species require intact corridors between ocean and riverine habitats. High dams block fish migration, but low-head artificial barriers are more widespread and are rarely assessed for impacts. Among all 46 drainages in Puerto Rico, we identified and surveyed 335 artificial barriers that hinder fish migration to 74.5% of the upstream habitat. We also surveyed occupancy of native diadromous fishes (Anguillidae, Eleotridae, Gobiidae, and Mugilidae) in 118 river reaches. Occupancy models demonstrated that barriers 2 meters (m) high restricted nongoby fish migration and extirpated those fish upstream of 4-m barriers. Gobies are adapted to climbing and are restricted by 12-m barriers and extirpated upstream of 32-m barriers. Our findings quantitatively illustrate the extensive impact of low-head structures on island stream fauna and provide guidance for natural resource management, habitat restoration, and water development strategies.

  17. 78 FR 37208 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-20

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Exempted Fishing Permit AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... implementing the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands...

  18. Relations between altered stramflow variability and fish assemblages in Eastern USA streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meador, Michael R.; Carlisle, Daren M.

    2012-01-01

    Although altered streamflow has been implicated as a major factor affecting fish assemblages, understanding the extent of streamflow alteration has required quantifying attributes of the natural flow regime. We used predictive models to quantify deviation from expected natural streamflow variability for streams in the eastern USA. Sites with >25% change in mean daily streamflow variability compared with what would be expected in a minimally disturbed environment were defined as having altered streamflow variability, based on the 10th and 90th percentiles of the distribution of streamflow variability at 1279 hydrological reference sites. We also used predictive models to assess fish assemblage condition and native species loss based on the proportion of expected native fish species that were observed. Of the 97 sites, 49 (50.5%) were classified as altered with reduced streamflow variability, whereas no sites had increased streamflow variability. Reduced streamflow variability was related to a 35% loss in native fish species, on average, and a >50% loss of species with a preference for riffle habitats. Conditional probability analysis indicated that the probability of fish assemblage impairment increased as the severity of altered streamflow variability increased. Reservoir storage capacity and wastewater discharges were important predictors of reduced streamflow variability as revealed by random forest analysis. Management and conservation of streams will require careful consideration of natural streamflow variation and potential factors contributing to altered streamflow within the entire watershed to limit the loss of critical stream habitats and fish species uniquely adapted to live in those habitats.

  19. Effects of geomorphology, habitat, and spatial location on fish assemblages in a watershed in Ohio, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ambrosio, Jessica L; Williams, Lance R; Witter, Jonathan D; Ward, Andy

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we evaluate relationships between in-stream habitat, water chemistry, spatial distribution within a predominantly agricultural Midwestern watershed and geomorphic features and fish assemblage attributes and abundances. Our specific objectives were to: (1) identify and quantify key environmental variables at reach and system wide (watershed) scales; and (2) evaluate the relative influence of those environmental factors in structuring and explaining fish assemblage attributes at reach scales to help prioritize stream monitoring efforts and better incorporate all factors that influence aquatic biology in watershed management programs. The original combined data set consisted of 31 variables measured at 32 sites, which was reduced to 9 variables through correlation and linear regression analysis: stream order, percent wooded riparian zone, drainage area, in-stream cover quality, substrate quality, gradient, cross-sectional area, width of the flood prone area, and average substrate size. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and variance partitioning were used to relate environmental variables to fish species abundance and assemblage attributes. Fish assemblages and abundances were explained best by stream size, gradient, substrate size and quality, and percent wooded riparian zone. Further data are needed to investigate why water chemistry variables had insignificant relationships with IBI scores. Results suggest that more quantifiable variables and consideration of spatial location of a stream reach within a watershed system should be standard data incorporated into stream monitoring programs to identify impairments that, while biologically limiting, are not fully captured or elucidated using current bioassessment methods.

  20. Assemblage characteristics and diet of fish in the shallow coastal waters of James Ross Island, Antarctica

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jurajda, Pavel; Roche, Kevin Francis; Sedláček, I.; Všetičková, Lucie

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 39, č. 12 (2016), s. 2299-2309 ISSN 0722-4060 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Antarctic Peninsula * Fish assemblage structure * Notothenioidei * Shallow coastal waters * Ice pack * Czech Antarctic Station Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.949, year: 2016

  1. Oceanographic and behavioural assumptions in models of the fate of coral and coral reef fish larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolanski, Eric; Kingsford, Michael J

    2014-09-06

    A predictive model of the fate of coral reef fish larvae in a reef system is proposed that combines the oceanographic processes of advection and turbulent diffusion with the biological process of horizontal swimming controlled by olfactory and auditory cues within the timescales of larval development. In the model, auditory cues resulted in swimming towards the reefs when within hearing distance of the reef, whereas olfactory cues resulted in the larvae swimming towards the natal reef in open waters by swimming against the concentration gradients in the smell plume emanating from the natal reef. The model suggested that the self-seeding rate may be quite large, at least 20% for the larvae of rapidly developing reef fish species, which contrasted with a self-seeding rate less than 2% for non-swimming coral larvae. The predicted self-recruitment rate of reefs was sensitive to a number of parameters, such as the time at which the fish larvae reach post-flexion, the pelagic larval duration of the larvae, the horizontal turbulent diffusion coefficient in reefal waters and the horizontal swimming behaviour of the fish larvae in response to auditory and olfactory cues, for which better field data are needed. Thus, the model suggested that high self-seeding rates for reef fish are possible, even in areas where the 'sticky water' effect is minimal and in the absence of long-term trapping in oceanic fronts and/or large-scale oceanic eddies or filaments that are often argued to facilitate the return of the larvae after long periods of drifting at sea. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  2. Additive diversity partitioning of fish in a Caribbean coral reef undergoing shift transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta-González, Gilberto; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián A; Hernández-Landa, Roberto C; Arias-González, Jesús E

    2013-01-01

    Shift transitions in dominance on coral reefs from hard coral cover to fleshy macroalgae are having negative effects on Caribbean coral reef communities. Data on spatiotemporal changes in biodiversity during these modifications are important for decision support for coral reef biodiversity protection. The main objective of this study is to detect the spatiotemporal patterns of coral reef fish diversity during this transition using additive diversity-partitioning analysis. We examined α, β and γ fish diversity from 2000 to 2010, during which time a shift transition occurred at Mahahual Reef, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Data on coral reef fish and benthic communities were obtained from 12 transects per geomorphological unit (GU) in two GUs (reef slope and terrace) over six years (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010). Spatial analysis within and between the GUs indicated that the γ-diversity was primarily related to higher β-diversity. Throughout the six study years, there were losses of α, β and γ-diversity associated spatially with the shallow (reef slope) and deeper (reef terrace) GUs and temporally with the transition in cover from mound corals to fleshy macroalgae and boulder corals. Despite a drastic reduction in the number of species over time, β-diversity continues to be the highest component of γ-diversity. The shift transition had a negative effect on α, β and γ-diversity, primarily by impacting rare species, leading a group of small and less vulnerable fish species to become common and an important group of rare species to become locally extinct. The maintenance of fish heterogeneity (β-diversity) over time may imply the abetment of vulnerability in the face of local and global changes.

  3. Additive diversity partitioning of fish in a Caribbean coral reef undergoing shift transition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Acosta-González

    Full Text Available Shift transitions in dominance on coral reefs from hard coral cover to fleshy macroalgae are having negative effects on Caribbean coral reef communities. Data on spatiotemporal changes in biodiversity during these modifications are important for decision support for coral reef biodiversity protection. The main objective of this study is to detect the spatiotemporal patterns of coral reef fish diversity during this transition using additive diversity-partitioning analysis. We examined α, β and γ fish diversity from 2000 to 2010, during which time a shift transition occurred at Mahahual Reef, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Data on coral reef fish and benthic communities were obtained from 12 transects per geomorphological unit (GU in two GUs (reef slope and terrace over six years (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010. Spatial analysis within and between the GUs indicated that the γ-diversity was primarily related to higher β-diversity. Throughout the six study years, there were losses of α, β and γ-diversity associated spatially with the shallow (reef slope and deeper (reef terrace GUs and temporally with the transition in cover from mound corals to fleshy macroalgae and boulder corals. Despite a drastic reduction in the number of species over time, β-diversity continues to be the highest component of γ-diversity. The shift transition had a negative effect on α, β and γ-diversity, primarily by impacting rare species, leading a group of small and less vulnerable fish species to become common and an important group of rare species to become locally extinct. The maintenance of fish heterogeneity (β-diversity over time may imply the abetment of vulnerability in the face of local and global changes.

  4. How life history characteristics and environmental forcing shape settlement success of coral reef fishes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wong-Ala, Jennifer; Comfort, Christina; Gove, Jamison

    2018-01-01

    Larval settlement is shaped by the interaction of biological processes (e.g., life history strategies, behavior etc.) and the environment (e.g., temperature, currents etc.). This is particularly true for many reef fishes where larval stages disperse offshore, often spending weeks to months...... in the pelagic realm before settling to shallow-water reefs. Our ability to predict reef fish settlement and subsequent recruitment and population dynamics depends on our ability to characterize how biological processes interact with the dynamic physical environment. Here we develop and apply an individual...... (PLD), body morphology, etc. We employ our biophysical model to examine how biology interacts with the physical environment to shape settlement predictions for reef fish off western and southern Hawai‘i Island. Linked to prevailing surface currents, we find increased probabilities of settling...

  5. Physiology can contribute to better understanding, management, and conservation of coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illing, Björn; Rummer, Jodie L

    2017-01-01

    Coral reef fishes, like many other marine organisms, are affected by anthropogenic stressors such as fishing and pollution and, owing to climate change, are experiencing increasing water temperatures and ocean acidification. Against the backdrop of these various stressors, a mechanistic understanding of processes governing individual organismal performance is the first step for identifying drivers of coral reef fish population dynamics. In fact, physiological measurements can help to reveal potential cause-and-effect relationships and enable physiologists to advise conservation management by upscaling results from cellular and individual organismal levels to population levels. Here, we highlight studies that include physiological measurements of coral reef fishes and those that give advice for their conservation. A literature search using combined physiological, conservation and coral reef fish key words resulted in ~1900 studies, of which only 99 matched predefined requirements. We observed that, over the last 20 years, the combination of physiological and conservation aspects in studies on coral reef fishes has received increased attention. Most of the selected studies made their physiological observations at the whole organism level and used their findings to give conservation advice on population dynamics, habitat use or the potential effects of climate change. The precision of the recommendations differed greatly and, not surprisingly, was least concrete when studies examined the effects of projected climate change scenarios. Although more and more physiological studies on coral reef fishes include conservation aspects, there is still a lack of concrete advice for conservation managers, with only very few published examples of physiological findings leading to improved management practices. We conclude with a call to action to foster better knowledge exchange between natural scientists and conservation managers to translate physiological findings more

  6. Structure and dynamics of demersal fish assemblages over three ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Open Access DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ... In this study, we analysed data from scientific trawl surveys carried out on the ... Keywords: biodiversity, ecosystem indicators, fishing impact, historical data, marine ecology, trawling surveys ...

  7. Demersal fish assemblages on seamounts and other rugged features in the northeastern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quattrini, Andrea M.; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Singer, Randal; Roa-Varon, Adela; Chaytor, Jason D.

    2017-05-01

    Recent investigations of demersal fish communities in deepwater (>50 m) habitats have considerably increased our knowledge of the factors that influence the assemblage structure of fishes across mesophotic to deep-sea depths. While different habitat types influence deepwater fish distribution, whether different types of rugged seafloor features provide functionally equivalent habitat for fishes is poorly understood. In the northeastern Caribbean, different types of rugged features (e.g., seamounts, banks, canyons) punctuate insular margins, and thus create a remarkable setting in which to compare demersal fish communities across various features. Concurrently, several water masses are vertically layered in the water column, creating strong stratification layers corresponding to specific abiotic conditions. In this study, we examined differences among fish assemblages across different features (e.g., seamount, canyon, bank/ridge) and water masses at depths ranging from 98 to 4060 m in the northeastern Caribbean. We conducted 26 remotely operated vehicle dives across 18 sites, identifying 156 species of which 42% of had not been previously recorded from particular depths or localities in the region. While rarefaction curves indicated fewer species at seamounts than at other features in the NE Caribbean, assemblage structure was similar among the different types of features. Thus, similar to seamount studies in other regions, seamounts in the Anegada Passage do not harbor distinct communities from other types of rugged features. Species assemblages, however, differed among depths, with zonation generally corresponding to water mass boundaries in the region. High species turnover occurred at depths <1200 m, and may be driven by changes in water mass characteristics including temperature (4.8-24.4 °C) and dissolved oxygen (2.2-9.5 mg per l). Our study suggests the importance of water masses in influencing community structure of benthic fauna, while considerably adding

  8. Habitat associations of juvenile fish at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia: the importance of coral and algae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun K Wilson

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Habitat specificity plays a pivotal role in forming community patterns in coral reef fishes, yet considerable uncertainty remains as to the extent of this selectivity, particularly among newly settled recruits. Here we quantified habitat specificity of juvenile coral reef fish at three ecological levels; algal meadows vs. coral reefs, live vs. dead coral and among different coral morphologies. In total, 6979 individuals from 11 families and 56 species were censused along Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Juvenile fishes exhibited divergence in habitat use and specialization among species and at all study scales. Despite the close proximity of coral reef and algal meadows (10's of metres 25 species were unique to coral reef habitats, and seven to algal meadows. Of the seven unique to algal meadows, several species are known to occupy coral reef habitat as adults, suggesting possible ontogenetic shifts in habitat use. Selectivity between live and dead coral was found to be species-specific. In particular, juvenile scarids were found predominantly on the skeletons of dead coral whereas many damsel and butterfly fishes were closely associated with live coral habitat. Among the coral dependent species, coral morphology played a key role in juvenile distribution. Corymbose corals supported a disproportionate number of coral species and individuals relative to their availability, whereas less complex shapes (i.e. massive & encrusting were rarely used by juvenile fish. Habitat specialisation by juvenile species of ecological and fisheries importance, for a variety of habitat types, argues strongly for the careful conservation and management of multiple habitat types within marine parks, and indicates that the current emphasis on planning conservation using representative habitat areas is warranted. Furthermore, the close association of many juvenile fish with corals susceptible to climate change related disturbances suggests that identifying and

  9. Seasonal changes in fish assemblage structure at a shallow seamount in the Gulf of California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgensen, Salvador J; Klimley, A Peter; Muhlia-Melo, Arturo; Morgan, Steven G

    2016-01-01

    Seamounts have generally been identified as locations that can promote elevated productivity, biomass and predator biodiversity. These properties attract seamount-associated fisheries where elevated harvests can be obtained relative to surrounding areas. There exists large variation in the geological and oceanographic environment among the thousands of locations that fall within the broad definition of seamount. Global seamount surveys have revealed that not all seamounts are hotspots of biodiversity, and there remains a strong need to understand the mechanisms that underlie variation in species richness observed. We examined the process of fish species assembly at El Bajo Espiritu Santo (EBES) seamount in the Gulf of California over a five-year study period. To effectively quantify the relative abundance of fast-moving and schooling fishes in a 'blue water' habitat, we developed a simplified underwater visual census (UVC) methodology and analysis framework suitable for this setting and applicable to future studies in similar environments. We found correlations between seasonally changing community structure and variability in oceanographic conditions. Individual species responses to thermal habitat at EBES revealed three distinct assemblages, a 'fall assemblage' tracking warmer overall temperature, a 'spring assemblage' correlated with cooler temperature, and a 'year-round assemblage' with no significant response to temperature. Species richness was greatest in spring, when cool and warm water masses stratified the water column and a greater number of species from all three assemblages co-occurred. We discuss our findings in the context of potential mechanisms that could account for predator biodiversity at shallow seamounts.

  10. Fish4Knowledge collecting and analyzing massive coral reef fish video data

    CERN Document Server

    Chen-Burger, Yun-Heh; Giordano, Daniela; Hardman, Lynda; Lin, Fang-Pang

    2016-01-01

    This book gives a start-to-finish overview of the whole Fish4Knowledge project, in 18 short chapters, each describing one aspect of the project. The Fish4Knowledge project explored the possibilities of big video data, in this case from undersea video. Recording and analyzing 90 thousand hours of video from ten camera locations, the project gives a 3 year view of fish abundance in several tropical coral reefs off the coast of Taiwan. The research system built a remote recording network, over 100 Tb of storage, supercomputer processing, video target detection and tracking, fish species recognition and analysis, a large SQL database to record the results and an efficient retrieval mechanism. Novel user interface mechanisms were developed to provide easy access for marine ecologists, who wanted to explore the dataset. The book is a useful resource for system builders, as it gives an overview of the many new methods that were created to build the Fish4Knowledge system in a manner that also allows readers to see ho...

  11. Colour vision and response bias in a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheney, Karen L; Newport, Cait; McClure, Eva C; Marshall, N Justin

    2013-08-01

    Animals use coloured signals for a variety of communication purposes, including to attract potential mates, recognize individuals, defend territories and warn predators of secondary defences (aposematism). To understand the mechanisms that drive the evolution and design of such visual signals, it is important to understand the visual systems and potential response biases of signal receivers. Here, we provide raw data on the spectral capabilities of a coral reef fish, the Picasso triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus, which is potentially trichromatic with three cone sensitivities of 413 nm (single cone), 480 nm (double cone, medium sensitivity) and 528 nm (double cone, long sensitivity), and a rod sensitivity of 498 nm. The ocular media have a 50% transmission cut off at 405 nm. Behavioural experiments confirmed colour vision over their spectral range; triggerfish were significantly more likely to choose coloured stimuli over grey distractors, irrespective of luminance. We then examined whether response biases existed towards coloured and patterned stimuli to provide insight into how visual signals - in particular, aposematic colouration - may evolve. Triggerfish showed a preferential foraging response bias to red and green stimuli, in contrast to blue and yellow, irrespective of pattern. There was no response bias to patterned over monochromatic non-patterned stimuli. A foraging response bias towards red in fish differs from that of avian predators, who often avoid red food items. Red is frequently associated with warning colouration in terrestrial environments (ladybirds, snakes, frogs), whilst blue is used in aquatic environments (blue-ringed octopus, nudibranchs); whether the design of warning (aposematic) displays is a cause or consequence of response biases is unclear.

  12. Coral reef fish populations can persist without immigration

    KAUST Repository

    Salles, Océane C.

    2015-11-18

    Determining the conditions under which populations may persist requires accurate estimates of demographic parameters, including immigration, local reproductive success, and mortality rates. In marine populations, empirical estimates of these parameters are rare, due at least in part to the pelagic dispersal stage common to most marine organisms. Here, we evaluate population persistence and turnover for a population of orange clownfish, Amphiprion percula, at Kimbe Island in Papua New Guinea. All fish in the population were sampled and genotyped on five occasions at 2-year intervals spanning eight years. The genetic data enabled estimates of reproductive success retained in the same population (reproductive success to self-recruitment), reproductive success exported to other subpopulations (reproductive success to local connectivity), and immigration and mortality rates of sub-adults and adults. Approximately 50% of the recruits were assigned to parents from the Kimbe Island population and this was stable through the sampling period. Stability in the proportion of local and immigrant settlers is likely due to: low annual mortality rates and stable egg production rates, and the short larval stages and sensory capacities of reef fish larvae. Biannual mortality rates ranged from 0.09 to 0.55 and varied significantly spatially. We used these data to parametrize a model that estimated the probability of the Kimbe Island population persisting in the absence of immigration. The Kimbe Island population was found to persist without significant immigration. Model results suggest the island population persists because the largest of the subpopulations are maintained due to having low mortality and high self-recruitment rates. Our results enable managers to appropriately target and scale actions to maximize persistence likelihood as disturbance frequencies increase.

  13. Habitat characteristics and environmental parameters influencing fish assemblages of karstic pools in southern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Eugenia Vega-Cendejas

    Full Text Available Fish assemblage structure was evaluated and compared among 36 karstic pools located within protected areas of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (southern Mexico and unprotected adjacent areas beyond the Reserve. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (MDS, indicator species analysis (ISA, and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA were used to identify which environmental factors reflected local influences and to evaluate the correlation of these variables with fish assemblages structure. Thirty-one species were encountered in these karstic pools, some for the first time within the Reserve. These aquatic environments were separated into three groups based on physico-chemical characteristics. Although CCA identified significant associations between several fish species (based on their relative abundance and environmental variables (K, NH4, NO3, and conductivity, the most abundant species (Astyanax aeneus, Poecilia mexicana, and Gambusia sexradiata occur in most pools and under several environmental conditions. Baseline data on fish diversity along with a continued monitoring program are essential in order to evaluate the conservation status of fish assemblages and their habitats, as well as to measure the influence of anthropogenic impacts on pristine habitats such as the karstic pools of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.

  14. Rapidly increasing macroalgal cover not related to herbivorous fishes on Mesoamerican reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Suchley

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Long-term phase shifts from coral to macroalgal dominated reef systems are well documented in the Caribbean. Although the impact of coral diseases, climate change and other factors is acknowledged, major herbivore loss through disease and overfishing is often assigned a primary role. However, direct evidence for the link between herbivore abundance, macroalgal and coral cover is sparse, particularly over broad spatial scales. In this study we use a database of coral reef surveys performed at 85 sites along the Mesoamerican Reef of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, to examine potential ecological links by tracking site trajectories over the period 2005–2014. Despite the long-term reduction of herbivory capacity reported across the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Reef region displayed relatively low macroalgal cover at the onset of the study. Subsequently, increasing fleshy macroalgal cover was pervasive. Herbivorous fish populations were not responsible for this trend as fleshy macroalgal cover change was not correlated with initial herbivorous fish biomass or change, and the majority of sites experienced increases in macroalgae browser biomass. This contrasts the coral reef top-down herbivore control paradigm and suggests the role of external factors in making environmental conditions more favourable for algae. Increasing macroalgal cover typically suppresses ecosystem services and leads to degraded reef systems. Consequently, policy makers and local coral reef managers should reassess the focus on herbivorous fish protection and consider complementary measures such as watershed management in order to arrest this trend.

  15. Energetic and ecological constraints on population density of reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barneche, D R; Kulbicki, M; Floeter, S R; Friedlander, A M; Allen, A P

    2016-01-27

    Population ecology has classically focused on pairwise species interactions, hindering the description of general patterns and processes of population abundance at large spatial scales. Here we use the metabolic theory of ecology as a framework to formulate and test a model that yields predictions linking population density to the physiological constraints of body size and temperature on individual metabolism, and the ecological constraints of trophic structure and species richness on energy partitioning among species. Our model was tested by applying Bayesian quantile regression to a comprehensive reef-fish community database, from which we extracted density data for 5609 populations spread across 49 sites around the world. Our results indicate that population density declines markedly with increases in community species richness and that, after accounting for richness, energetic constraints are manifested most strongly for the most abundant species, which generally are of small body size and occupy lower trophic groups. Overall, our findings suggest that, at the global scale, factors associated with community species richness are the major drivers of variation in population density. Given that populations of species-rich tropical systems exhibit markedly lower maximum densities, they may be particularly susceptible to stochastic extinction. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Spot the difference: mimicry in a coral reef fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Gagliano

    Full Text Available Eyespots on the body of many animals have long been assumed to confer protection against predators, but empirical evidence has recently demonstrated that this may not always be the case and suggested that such markings may also serve other purposes. Clearly, this raises the unresolved question of what functions do these markings have and do they contribute to an individual's evolutionary fitness in the wild. Here, we examined the occurrence of eyespots on the dorsal fin of a coral reef damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis, where these markings are typical of the juvenile stage and fade away as the fish approaches sexual maturation to then disappear completely in the vast majority of, but not all, adult individuals. By exploring differences in body shape among age and gender groups, we found that individuals retaining the eyespot into adulthood are all sexually mature males, suggesting that these eyespots may be an adult deceptive signal. Interestingly, the body shape of these individuals resembled more closely that of immature females than mature dominant males. These results suggest that eyespots have multiple roles and their functional significance changes within the lifetime of an animal from being a juvenile advertisement to a deceptive adult signal. Male removal experiments or colour manipulations may be necessary to establish specific functions.

  17. Spot the difference: mimicry in a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagliano, Monica; Depczynski, Martial

    2013-01-01

    Eyespots on the body of many animals have long been assumed to confer protection against predators, but empirical evidence has recently demonstrated that this may not always be the case and suggested that such markings may also serve other purposes. Clearly, this raises the unresolved question of what functions do these markings have and do they contribute to an individual's evolutionary fitness in the wild. Here, we examined the occurrence of eyespots on the dorsal fin of a coral reef damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis), where these markings are typical of the juvenile stage and fade away as the fish approaches sexual maturation to then disappear completely in the vast majority of, but not all, adult individuals. By exploring differences in body shape among age and gender groups, we found that individuals retaining the eyespot into adulthood are all sexually mature males, suggesting that these eyespots may be an adult deceptive signal. Interestingly, the body shape of these individuals resembled more closely that of immature females than mature dominant males. These results suggest that eyespots have multiple roles and their functional significance changes within the lifetime of an animal from being a juvenile advertisement to a deceptive adult signal. Male removal experiments or colour manipulations may be necessary to establish specific functions.

  18. Comparison of fish assemblages in two littoral habitats in a Neotropical morichal stream in Venezuela

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen G. Montaña

    Full Text Available Morichales are lowland streams in South American savannas with riparian forest dominated by the moriche palm (Mauritia flexuosa. We sampled littoral habitats from ten flooded vegetated patches (dominated by Mauritiella aculeate and six sand banks in two months of the dry season (Feb-Mar 2005 in a stream in the savannas of Apure State, Venezuela. We collected samples that compromised 12,407 individual fishes of 107 species. Small-bodied fishes (< 100 mm, representing diverse trophic and life history strategies, were abundant. The most abundant species were in the families Characidae and Cichlidae. Fish assemblages from flooded vegetated patches differed significantly from those on adjacent sand banks. High structural complexity along vegetated shoreline habitats of morichal streams likely contributes to species richness and affects assemblage composition.

  19. Crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes

    KAUST Repository

    Wilson, S. K.

    2010-02-26

    Expert opinion was canvassed to identify crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes. Scientists that had published three or more papers on the effects of climate and environmental factors on reef fishes were invited to submit five questions that, if addressed, would improve our understanding of climate change effects on coral reef fishes. Thirty-three scientists provided 155 questions, and 32 scientists scored these questions in terms of: (i) identifying a knowledge gap, (ii) achievability, (iii) applicability to a broad spectrum of species and reef habitats, and (iv) priority. Forty-two per cent of the questions related to habitat associations and community dynamics of fish, reflecting the established effects and immediate concern relating to climate-induced coral loss and habitat degradation. However, there were also questions on fish demographics, physiology, behaviour and management, all of which could be potentially affected by climate change. Irrespective of their individual expertise and background, scientists scored questions from different topics similarly, suggesting limited bias and recognition of a need for greater interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Presented here are the 53 highest-scoring unique questions. These questions should act as a guide for future research, providing a basis for better assessment and management of climate change impacts on coral reefs and associated fish communities.

  20. Distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs track algal resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tootell, Jesse S; Steele, Mark A

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore distribution can impact community structure and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, herbivores are thought to play an important role in promoting coral dominance, but how they are distributed relative to algae is not well known. Here, we evaluated whether the distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes correlated with algal resource availability at six sites in the back reef environment of Moorea, French Polynesia. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that increased algal turf availability would coincide with (1) increased biomass, (2) altered foraging behavior, and (3) increased energy reserves of herbivorous fishes. Fish biomass and algal cover were visually estimated along underwater transects; behavior of herbivorous fishes was quantified by observations of focal individuals; fish were collected to assess their condition; and algal turf production rates were measured on standardized tiles. The best predictor of herbivorous fish biomass was algal turf production, with fish biomass increasing with algal production. Biomass of herbivorous fishes was also negatively related to sea urchin density, suggesting competition for limited resources. Regression models including both algal turf production and urchin density explained 94 % of the variation in herbivorous fish biomass among sites spread over ~20 km. Behavioral observations of the parrotfish Chlorurus sordidus revealed that foraging area increased as algal turf cover decreased. Additionally, energy reserves increased with algal turf production, but declined with herbivorous fish density, implying that algal turf is a limited resource for this species. Our findings support the hypothesis that herbivorous fishes can spatially track algal resources on coral reefs.

  1. Conventional and technical diving surveys reveal elevated biomass and differing fish community composition from shallow and upper mesophotic zones of a remote United States coral reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roldan C Muñoz

    Full Text Available The world's coral reefs appear to be in a global decline, yet most previous research on coral reefs has taken place at depths shallower than 30 m. Mesophotic coral ecosystem (depths deeper than ~30 m studies have revealed extensive, productive habitats and rich communities. Despite recent advances, mesophotic coral ecosystems remain understudied due to challenges with sampling at deeper depths. The few previous studies of mesophotic coral ecosystems have shown variation across locations in depth-specific species composition and assemblage shifts, potentially a response to differences in habitat or light availability/water clarity. This study utilized scuba to examine fish and benthic communities from shallow and upper mesophotic (to 45 m zones of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS, 28°0'N; 93°50'W from 2010-2012. Dominant planktivores were ubiquitous in shallow and upper mesophotic habitats, and comparisons with previous shallow research suggest this community distribution has persisted for over 30 years. Planktivores were abundant in shallow low-relief habitats on the periphery of the coral reef, and some of these sites that contained habitat transitioning from high to low relief supported high biomass of benthic predators. These peripheral sites at FGBNMS may be important for the trophic transfer of oceanic energy to the benthic coral reef. Distinct differences between upper mesophotic and shallow communities were also observed. These included greater overall fish (as well as apex predator biomass in the upper mesophotic, differences in apex predator community composition between depth zones, and greater percent cover of algae, rubble, sand, and sponges in the upper mesophotic. Greater fish biomass in the upper mesophotic and similar fish community composition between depth zones provide preliminary support that upper mesophotic habitats at FGBNMS have the capacity to serve as refugia for the shallow-water reefs. Diving

  2. Conventional and technical diving surveys reveal elevated biomass and differing fish community composition from shallow and upper mesophotic zones of a remote United States coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Roldan C; Buckel, Christine A; Whitfield, Paula E; Viehman, Shay; Clark, Randy; Taylor, J Christopher; Degan, Brian P; Hickerson, Emma L

    2017-01-01

    The world's coral reefs appear to be in a global decline, yet most previous research on coral reefs has taken place at depths shallower than 30 m. Mesophotic coral ecosystem (depths deeper than ~30 m) studies have revealed extensive, productive habitats and rich communities. Despite recent advances, mesophotic coral ecosystems remain understudied due to challenges with sampling at deeper depths. The few previous studies of mesophotic coral ecosystems have shown variation across locations in depth-specific species composition and assemblage shifts, potentially a response to differences in habitat or light availability/water clarity. This study utilized scuba to examine fish and benthic communities from shallow and upper mesophotic (to 45 m) zones of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS, 28°0'N; 93°50'W) from 2010-2012. Dominant planktivores were ubiquitous in shallow and upper mesophotic habitats, and comparisons with previous shallow research suggest this community distribution has persisted for over 30 years. Planktivores were abundant in shallow low-relief habitats on the periphery of the coral reef, and some of these sites that contained habitat transitioning from high to low relief supported high biomass of benthic predators. These peripheral sites at FGBNMS may be important for the trophic transfer of oceanic energy to the benthic coral reef. Distinct differences between upper mesophotic and shallow communities were also observed. These included greater overall fish (as well as apex predator) biomass in the upper mesophotic, differences in apex predator community composition between depth zones, and greater percent cover of algae, rubble, sand, and sponges in the upper mesophotic. Greater fish biomass in the upper mesophotic and similar fish community composition between depth zones provide preliminary support that upper mesophotic habitats at FGBNMS have the capacity to serve as refugia for the shallow-water reefs. Diving surveys of the

  3. Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Grol, Monique G G; Mumby, Peter J

    2012-01-01

    No-take marine fishery reserves sustain commercial stocks by acting as buffers against overexploitation and enhancing fishery catches in adjacent areas through spillover. Likewise, nursery habitats such as mangroves enhance populations of some species in adjacent habitats. However, there is lack of understanding of the magnitude of stock enhancement and the effects on community structure when both protection from fishing and access to nurseries concurrently act as drivers of fish population dynamics. In this study we test the separate as well as interactive effects of marine reserves and nursery habitat proximity on structure and abundance of coral reef fish communities. Reserves had no effect on fish community composition, while proximity to nursery habitat only had a significant effect on community structure of species that use mangroves or seagrass beds as nurseries. In terms of reef fish biomass, proximity to nursery habitat by far outweighed (biomass 249% higher than that in areas with no nursery access) the effects of protection from fishing in reserves (biomass 21% lower than non-reserve areas) for small nursery fish (≤ 25 cm total length). For large-bodied individuals of nursery species (>25 cm total length), an additive effect was present for these two factors, although fish benefited more from fishing protection (203% higher biomass) than from proximity to nurseries (139% higher). The magnitude of elevated biomass for small fish on coral reefs due to proximity to nurseries was such that nursery habitats seem able to overrule the usually positive effects on fish biomass by reef reserves. As a result, conservation of nursery habitats gains importance and more consideration should be given to the ecological processes that occur along nursery-reef boundaries that connect neighboring ecosystems.

  4. Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Nagelkerken

    Full Text Available No-take marine fishery reserves sustain commercial stocks by acting as buffers against overexploitation and enhancing fishery catches in adjacent areas through spillover. Likewise, nursery habitats such as mangroves enhance populations of some species in adjacent habitats. However, there is lack of understanding of the magnitude of stock enhancement and the effects on community structure when both protection from fishing and access to nurseries concurrently act as drivers of fish population dynamics. In this study we test the separate as well as interactive effects of marine reserves and nursery habitat proximity on structure and abundance of coral reef fish communities. Reserves had no effect on fish community composition, while proximity to nursery habitat only had a significant effect on community structure of species that use mangroves or seagrass beds as nurseries. In terms of reef fish biomass, proximity to nursery habitat by far outweighed (biomass 249% higher than that in areas with no nursery access the effects of protection from fishing in reserves (biomass 21% lower than non-reserve areas for small nursery fish (≤ 25 cm total length. For large-bodied individuals of nursery species (>25 cm total length, an additive effect was present for these two factors, although fish benefited more from fishing protection (203% higher biomass than from proximity to nurseries (139% higher. The magnitude of elevated biomass for small fish on coral reefs due to proximity to nurseries was such that nursery habitats seem able to overrule the usually positive effects on fish biomass by reef reserves. As a result, conservation of nursery habitats gains importance and more consideration should be given to the ecological processes that occur along nursery-reef boundaries that connect neighboring ecosystems.

  5. An account on the assemblage of fish larvae in Ponnani estuary, South India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranjeet Kutty

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Estuarine environments are one of the most dynamic aquatic ecosystems and serve many important functions in coastal waters. Larval fish dynamics contribute significantly to understanding the ecology of fish populations as they can indicate the spawning-stock biomass and recruitment in adult fish stocks. Initial development stages of fishes are particularly vulnerable and are influenced by physical and biological processes. Hence the present study was aimed to characterize ichthyoplankton assemblages, to evaluate environmental influence in its structure. Ponnani backwater fish larvae assemblages displayed a clear seasonal pattern presenting higher abundances and diversities during warmer months. Throughout the year there is a wide fluctuation in salinity, temperature and primary productivity in these backwaters enabling it to be classified under stressful environment for larval forms of certain economically important marine fishes.  A detailed analysis made to study the interaction of selected environmental parameters with ichthyofaunal diversity in Ponnani backwater provided a clear understanding on the influence of these variables on the distribution of marine fish larvae in the region. The results of the present analysis provided a model for the prediction of larval diversity from the prevailing environmental parameters.

  6. Widespread microplastic ingestion by fish assemblages in tropical estuaries subjected to anthropogenic pressures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vendel, A L; Bessa, F; Alves, V E N; Amorim, A L A; Patrício, J; Palma, A R T

    2017-04-15

    Our aim was to quantify microplastic ingestion by fish assemblages in two tropical Brazilian estuaries and to evaluate whether biological and ecological factors influence the ingestion of microplastics by fish species. Of 2233 fish from both estuaries (from 69 species) examined in this study, 9% of the individuals (24 species) had microplastics in their gut contents. Microplastic ingestion occurred irrespective of fish size and functional group. The diet of fish species was analyzed based on prey items identified in the fish's full stomach contents and five feeding guilds were defined. Microplastics were common throughout all feeding guilds. Low (average ingestion values 1.06±0.30 items/total fish) but widespread occurrence among estuaries also indicates proliferation of microplastic pollution. Our findings highlight the need to focus on assemblage level studies to understand the real magnitude of the problem and emphasize the urgency of mitigation measures directed at microplastic pollution in estuarine ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Relationships among catch, angler catisfaction, and fish assemblage characteristics of an urban small impoundment fishery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivasauskas, Tomas J.; Xiong, Wilson N.; Engman, Augustin C.; Fischer, Jesse R.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Rundle, Kirk R.

    2017-01-01

    Urban fisheries provide unique angling opportunities for people from traditionally underrepresented demographics. Lake Raleigh is a 38-ha impoundment located on the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh. Like many urban fisheries, little is known about angler use and satisfaction or how angling catch rate is related to fish availability in Lake Raleigh. We characterized the recreational fishery and fish assemblage with concurrent creel and boat electrofishing surveys over the course of one year. In total, 245 anglers were interviewed on 68 survey days. On average, anglers spent 1.7 h fishing per trip and caught 0.385 fish h –1. A large proportion of anglers (43.9%) targeted multiple species, whereas 36.5% targeted largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), 10.0% targeted panfish (i.e., sunfishes [Lepomis spp.] and crappies [Pomoxis spp.]), and 9.6% targeted catfish (Ameiurus spp. and Ictalurus spp.). Most anglers (69.4%) were satisfied with their experience, and overall satisfaction was unrelated to catch rate. Pulsed-DC boat electrofishing was conducted on 25 dates, and 617 fish were sampled. Angler catch rate was unrelated to electrofishing catch rate, implying that anglers' catch rate was independent of fish density or availability. Our results demonstrate that even minimally managed urban fisheries can provide high angler satisfaction, with limited dedication of management resources. Relationships Among Catch, Angler Satisfaction, and Fish Assemblage Characteristics of an Urban Small Impoundment Fishery (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316636550_Relationships_Among_Catch_Angler_Satisfaction_and_Fish_Assemblage_Characteristics_of_an_Urban_Small_Impoundment_Fishery [accessed Aug 11, 2017].

  8. Cephalopholis argus fish census and assemblage data from the West Hawaii Roi Removal Project 2010-2012 (NODC Accession 0099263)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project examined the results of the field manipulative experiment that has been set up to test the ecological effects of introduced roi on reef fish...

  9. Evidence for protection of targeted reef fish on the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabián Pina-Amargós

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Marine reserves can restore fish abundance and diversity in areas impacted by overfishing, but the effectiveness of reserves in developing countries where resources for enforcement are limited, have seldom been evaluated. Here we assess whether the establishment in 1996 of the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean, Gardens of the Queen in Cuba, has had a positive effect on the abundance of commercially valuable reef fish species in relation to neighboring unprotected areas. We surveyed 25 sites, including two reef habitats (reef crest and reef slope, inside and outside the marine reserve, on five different months, and over a one-and-a-half year period. Densities of the ten most frequent, highly targeted, and relatively large fish species showed a significant variability across the archipelago for both reef habitats that depended on the month of survey. These ten species showed a tendency towards higher abundance inside the reserve in both reef habitats for most months during the study. Average fish densities pooled by protection level, however, showed that five out of these ten species were at least two-fold significantly higher inside than outside the reserve at one or both reef habitats. Supporting evidence from previously published studies in the area indicates that habitat complexity and major benthic communities were similar inside and outside the reserve, while fishing pressure appeared to be homogeneous across the archipelago before reserve establishment. Although poaching may occur within the reserve, especially at the boundaries, effective protection from fishing was the most plausible explanation for the patterns observed.

  10. Global trends on reef fishes' ecology of fear: Flight initiation distance for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, José Anchieta C C; Costa, Yuri; Blumstein, Daniel T; Leduc, Antoine O H C; Dorea, Antônio C; Benevides, Larissa J; Sampaio, Cláudio L S; Barros, Francisco

    2018-05-01

    Escape behaviors have a great potential as an indicator of the efficacy of management. For instance, the degree of fear perceived by fishes targeted by fisheries is frequently higher in unprotected marine areas than in areas where some protection is provided. We systematically reviewed the literature on how fear, which we define as variation in escape behavior, was quantified in reef fishes. In the past 25 years, a total of 33 studies were identified, many of which were published within the last five years and nearly 40% of those (n = 13) focused on Indo-Pacific reefs, showing that there are still many geographical gaps. While eleven escape metrics were identified to evaluate fish escape, flight initiation distance (FID) was the most commonly employed (n = 23). FID was used to study different questions of applied and theoretical ecology, which involved 14 reef fish families. We also used a formal meta-analysis to investigate the effects of fishing by comparing FID inside and outside marine protected areas. Fishes outside MPAs had increased FID compared to those inside MPAs. The Labridae family had a significantly higher effect sizes than Acanthuridae and Epinephelidae, suggesting that fishes in this family may be indicators of effective MPAs using FID. We conclude that protocols aimed to quantify fear in fishes, which provide accurate assessments of fishing effects on fish escape behavior, will help gauge the compliance of marine protected areas. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Artisanal fishing of spiny lobsters with gillnets — A significant anthropic impact on tropical reef ecosystem

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    Bruno Welter Giraldes

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Artisanal fishing activity with gillnets to capture the spiny lobster is a common practice along the coastal reefs of Brazil. This research aims to understand the impact that this artisanal fishing practice is having on the coastal reef systems analysing its associated fauna (bycatch and the stock of the target species Panulirus echinatus. The study compared an area which was subjected to intense gillnet fishing against one were the practice was absent. The analysis of target species using nocturnal visual census demonstrated a significantly higher number of P. echinatus at the site where gillnet use was virtually absent within three sampled habitats, fringe, cave and soft bottom. The analysis of bycatch species from artisanal fishermen’s gillnet landings recorded 4 lobster species and 10 crab species. These decapod species play an important ecological role as detritivores, herbivorous and first consumers within the reef ecosystem as well as being natural prey items for several reef fishes. The study concludes that this non-discriminatory fishing technique impacts directly on populations of P. echinatus, P. argus and P. laevicauda as well as other lobster and crab species which in-turn indirectly affects the ecological role of the tropical coastal reefs of Brazil.

  12. Diversity and composition of estuarine and lagoonal fish assemblages of Socotra Island, Yemen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavergne, E; Zajonz, U; Krupp, F; Naseeb, F; Aideed, M S

    2016-05-01

    Estuarine and lagoonal surveys of Socotra Island and selected sites on the Hadhramout coast of Yemen were conducted with the objective of documenting and analysing fish diversity and assemblage structure. A total of 74 species in 35 families were recorded, among which 65 species in 32 families were from Socotra and 20 species in 17 families were from mainland Yemen. Twenty-one species represent new faunal records for Socotra. Including historic records re-examined in this study, the total fish species richness of estuaries and lagoons of Socotra Island reaches 76, which is relatively high compared to species inventories of well-researched coastal estuaries in southern Africa. Five species dominate the occurrence and abundance frequencies: Terapon jarbua, Hyporhamphus sindensis, Aphanius dispar, Ambassis gymnocephala and Chelon macrolepis. Rarefaction and extrapolation analyses suggest that the actual number of fish species inhabiting some of those estuaries might be higher than the one observed. Thus, additional sampling at specific sites should be conducted to record other less conspicuous species. Ordination and multivariate analyses identified four main distinct assemblage clusters. Two groups are geographically well structured and represent northern Socotra and mainland Yemen, respectively. The other two assemblage groups tend to be determined to a greater extent by the synchrony between physical (e.g. estuary opening periods) and biological (e.g. spawning and recruitment periods) variables than by geographical location. Finally, the single intertidal lagoon of Socotra represents by itself a specific fish assemblage. The high proportion of economically important fish species (38) recorded underscores the paramount importance of these coastal water bodies as nursery sites, and for sustaining vital provisioning ecosystem services. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  13. The importance of sponges and mangroves in supporting fish communities on degraded coral reefs in Caribbean Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seemann, Janina; Yingst, Alexandra; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Edgar, Graham J; Altieri, Andrew H

    2018-01-01

    Fish communities associated with coral reefs worldwide are threatened by habitat degradation and overexploitation. We assessed coral reefs, mangrove fringes, and seagrass meadows on the Caribbean coast of Panama to explore the influences of their proximity to one another, habitat cover, and environmental characteristics in sustaining biomass, species richness and trophic structure of fish communities in a degraded tropical ecosystem. We found 94% of all fish across all habitat types were of small body size (≤10 cm), with communities dominated by fishes that usually live in habitats of low complexity, such as Pomacentridae (damselfishes) and Gobiidae (gobies). Total fish biomass was very low, with the trend of small fishes from low trophic levels over-represented, and top predators under-represented, relative to coral reefs elsewhere in the Caribbean. For example, herbivorous fishes comprised 27% of total fish biomass in Panama relative to 10% in the wider Caribbean, and the small parrotfish Scarus iseri comprised 72% of the parrotfish biomass. We found evidence that non-coral biogenic habitats support reef-associated fish communities. In particular, the abundance of sponges on a given reef and proximity of mangroves were found to be important positive correlates of reef fish species richness, biomass, abundance and trophic structure. Our study indicates that a diverse fish community can persist on degraded coral reefs, and that the availability and arrangement within the seascape of other habitat-forming organisms, including sponges and mangroves, is critical to the maintenance of functional processes in such ecosystems.

  14. Natural and human-induced variability in the composition of fish assemblages in the Northwestern Cuban shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaspar González-Sansón

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of the study was to obtain field data to build a baseline of fish assemblage composition that can be used comparatively for future analyses of the impact of human actions in the region. A basic network of 68 sampling stations was defined for the entire region (4 050 km2. Fish assemblage species and size composition was estimated using visual census methods at three different spatial scales: a entire region, b inside the main reef area and c along a human impact coastal gradient. Multivariate numerical analyses revealed habitat type as the main factor inducing spatial variability of fish community composition, while the level of human impact appears to play the main role in fish assemblage composition changes along the coast. A trend of decreasing fish size toward the east supports the theory of more severe human impact due to overfishing and higher urban pollution in that direction. This is the first detailed study along the northwest coast of Cuba that focuses on fish community structure and the natural and human-induced variations at different spatial scales for the entire NW shelf. This research also provides input for a more comprehensive understanding of coastal marine fish communities’ status in the Gulf of Mexico basin. Rev. Biol. Trop. 57 (3: 721-740. Epub 2009 September 30.Se obtuvieron datos de campo para una línea base de la composición de la ictiofauna que pueda ser usada comparativamente para el análisis de impactos humanos futuros en la región. Se estableció una red básica de 68 estaciones de muestreo para la región completa (4 050 km2. La composición por especies y por tallas de la ictiofauna fue estimada utilizando métodos de censo visual en tres escalas espaciales diferentes: a La región completa, b dentro del área principal de arrecifes y c a lo largo de un gradiente costero de impacto humano. El tipo de hábitat es el factor principal que induce la variación espacial en la composición de la

  15. Abrolhos bank reef health evaluated by means of water quality, microbial diversity, benthic cover, and fish biomass data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Bruce

    Full Text Available The health of the coral reefs of the Abrolhos Bank (Southwestern Atlantic was characterized with a holistic approach using measurements of four ecosystem components: (i inorganic and organic nutrient concentrations, [1] fish biomass, [1] macroalgal and coral cover and (iv microbial community composition and abundance. The possible benefits of protection from fishing were particularly evaluated by comparing sites with varying levels of protection. Two reefs within the well-enforced no-take area of the National Marine Park of Abrolhos (Parcel dos Abrolhos and California were compared with two unprotected coastal reefs (Sebastião Gomes and Pedra de Leste and one legally protected but poorly enforced coastal reef (the "paper park" of Timbebas Reef. The fish biomass was lower and the fleshy macroalgal cover was higher in the unprotected reefs compared with the protected areas. The unprotected and protected reefs had similar seawater chemistry. Lower vibrio CFU counts were observed in the fully protected area of California Reef. Metagenome analysis showed that the unprotected reefs had a higher abundance of archaeal and viral sequences and more bacterial pathogens, while the protected reefs had a higher abundance of genes related to photosynthesis. Similar to other reef systems in the world, there was evidence that reductions in the biomass of herbivorous fishes and the consequent increase in macroalgal cover in the Abrolhos Bank may be affecting microbial diversity and abundance. Through the integration of different types of ecological data, the present study showed that protection from fishing may lead to greater reef health. The data presented herein suggest that protected coral reefs have higher microbial diversity, with the most degraded reef (Sebastião Gomes showing a marked reduction in microbial species richness. It is concluded that ecological conditions in unprotected reefs may promote the growth and rapid evolution of opportunistic

  16. Feeding biology of the introduced fish roi, and its impact on Hawaiian reef fishes, January 2004 and January 2005, (NODC Accession 0002172)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Feeding biology of the introduced fish roi (Cephalopholis argus), and its impact on Hawaiian reef fishes and fisheries between January 2004 and January 2005. Roi...

  17. 78 FR 27084 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-09

    ...Fish.htm . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, telephone 727-824-5305, email rich.malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the...

  18. The hidden half: ecology and evolution of cryptobenthic fishes on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Goatley, Christopher H R; Bellwood, David R; Tornabene, Luke

    2018-05-07

    Teleost fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates on Earth. On tropical coral reefs, their species richness exceeds 6000 species; one tenth of total vertebrate biodiversity. A large proportion of this diversity is composed of cryptobenthic reef fishes (CRFs): bottom-dwelling, morphologically or behaviourally cryptic species typically less than 50 mm in length. Yet, despite their diversity and abundance, these fishes are both poorly defined and understood. Herein we provide a new quantitative definition and synthesise current knowledge on the diversity, distribution and life history of CRFs. First, we use size distributions within families to define 17 core CRF families as characterised by the high prevalence (>10%) of small-bodied species (fishes, in which virtually no small-bodied species have evolved. We posit that small body size has allowed CRFs to diversify at extremely high rates, primarily by allowing for fine partitioning of microhabitats and facilitation of allopatric reproductive isolation; yet, we are far from understanding and documenting the biodiversity of CRFs. Using rates of description since 1758, we predict that approximately 30 new species of cryptobenthic species will be described per year until 2050 (approximately twice the annual rate compared to large fishes). Furthermore, we predict that by the year 2031, more than half of the described coral reef fish biodiversity will consist of CRFs. These fishes are the 'hidden half' of vertebrate biodiversity on coral reefs. Notably, global geographic coverage and spatial resolution of quantitative data on CRF communities is uniformly poor, which further emphasises the remarkable reservoir of biodiversity that is yet to be discovered. Although small body size may have enabled extensive diversification within CRF families, small size also comes with a suite of ecological challenges that affect fishes' capacities to feed, survive and reproduce; we identify a range of life-history adaptations that

  19. Timing and locations of reef fish spawning off the southeastern United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A Farmer

    Full Text Available Managed reef fish in the Atlantic Ocean of the southeastern United States (SEUS support a multi-billion dollar industry. There is a broad interest in locating and protecting spawning fish from harvest, to enhance productivity and reduce the potential for overfishing. We assessed spatiotemporal cues for spawning for six species from four reef fish families, using data on individual spawning condition collected by over three decades of regional fishery-independent reef fish surveys, combined with a series of predictors derived from bathymetric features. We quantified the size of spawning areas used by reef fish across many years and identified several multispecies spawning locations. We quantitatively identified cues for peak spawning and generated predictive maps for Gray Triggerfish (Balistes capriscus, White Grunt (Haemulon plumierii, Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus, Vermilion Snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens, Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata, and Scamp (Mycteroperca phenax. For example, Red Snapper peak spawning was predicted in 24.7-29.0°C water prior to the new moon at locations with high curvature in the 24-30 m depth range off northeast Florida during June and July. External validation using scientific and fishery-dependent data collections strongly supported the predictive utility of our models. We identified locations where reconfiguration or expansion of existing marine protected areas would protect spawning reef fish. We recommend increased sampling off southern Florida (south of 27° N, during winter months, and in high-relief, high current habitats to improve our understanding of timing and location of reef fish spawning off the southeastern United States.

  20. Disentangling multiple pressures on fish assemblages in large rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zajicek, Petr; Radinger, Johannes; Wolter, Christian

    2018-06-15

    European large rivers are exposed to multiple human pressures and maintained as waterways for inland navigation. However, little is known on the dominance and interactions of multiple pressures in large rivers and in particular inland navigation has been ignored in multi-pressure analyzes so far. We determined the response of ten fish population metrics (FPM, related to densities of diagnostic guilds and biodiversity) to 11 prevailing pressures including navigation intensity at 76 sites in eight European large rivers. Thereby, we aimed to derive indicative FPM for the most influential pressures that can serve for fish-based assessments. Pressures' influences, impacts and interactions were determined for each FPM using bootstrapped regression tree models. Increased flow velocity, navigation intensity and the loss of floodplains had the highest influences on guild densities and biodiversity. Interactions between navigation intensity and loss of floodplains and between navigation intensity and increased flow velocity were most frequent, each affecting 80% of the FPM. Further, increased sedimentation, channelization, organic siltation, the presence of artificial embankments and the presence of barriers had strong influences on at least one FPM. Thereby, each FPM was influenced by up to five pressures. However, some diagnostic FPM could be derived: Species richness, Shannon and Simpson Indices, the Fish Region Index and lithophilic and psammophilic guilds specifically indicate rhithralisation of the potamal region of large rivers. Lithophilic, phytophilic and psammophilic guilds indicate disturbance of shoreline habitats through both (i) wave action induced by passing vessels and (ii) hydromorphological degradation of the river channel that comes along with inland navigation. In European large rivers, inland navigation constitutes a highly influential pressure that adds on top of the prevailing hydromorphological degradation. Therefore, river management has to consider

  1. Predator effects on reef fish settlement depend on predator origin and recruit density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2017-04-01

    During major life-history transitions, animals often experience high mortality rates due to predation, making predator avoidance particularly advantageous during these times. There is mixed evidence from a limited number of studies, however, regarding how predator presence influences settlement of coral-reef fishes and it is unknown how other potentially mediating factors, including predator origin (native vs. nonnative) or interactions among conspecific recruits, mediate the non-consumptive effects of predators on reef fish settlement. During a field experiment in the Caribbean, approximately 52% fewer mahogany snapper (Lutjanus mahogoni) recruited to reefs with a native predator (graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata) than to predator-free control reefs and reefs with an invasive predator (red lionfish, Pterois volitans) regardless of predator diet. These results suggest that snapper recruits do not recognize nonnative lionfish as a threat. However, these effects depended on the density of conspecific recruits, with evidence that competition may limit the response of snapper to even native predators at the highest recruit densities. In contrast, there was no effect of predator presence or conspecific density on the recruitment of bicolor damselfish (Stegastes partitus). These context-dependent responses of coral-reef fishes to predators during settlement may influence individual survival and shape subsequent population and community dynamics. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Fish assemblages in the Upper Esopus Creek, NY: Current status, variability, and controlling factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldigo, Barry P.; George, Scott D.; Keller, Walter T

    2015-01-01

    The Upper Esopus Creek receives water diversions from a neighboring basin through the Shandaken Tunnel (the portal) from the Schoharie Reservoir. Although the portal is closed during floods, mean flows and turbidity of portal waters are generally greater than in Esopus Creek above their confluence. These conditions could potentially affect local fish assemblages, yet such effects have not been assessed in this highly regulated stream. We studied water quality, hydrology, temperature, and fish assemblages at 18 sites in the Upper Esopus Creek during 2009–2011 to characterize the effects of the portal input on resident-fish assemblages and to document the status of the fishery resource. In general, fish-community richness increased by 2–3 species at mainstem sites near the portal, and median density and biomass of fish communities at sites downstream of the portal were significantly lower than they were at sites upstream of the portal. Median densities of Salmo trutta (Brown Trout) and all trout species were significantly lower than at mainstem sites downstream from the portal—25.1 fish/0.1 ha and 148.9 fish/0.1 ha, respectively—than at mainstem sites upstream from the portal—68.8 fish/0.1 ha and 357.7 fish/0.1 ha, respectively—yet median biomass for Brown Trout and all trout did not differ between sites from both reaches. The median density of young-of-year Brown Trout at downstream sites (9.3 fish/0.1 ha) was significantly lower than at upstream sites (33.9 fish/0.1 ha). Waters from the portal appeared to adversely affect the density and biomass of young-of-year Brown Trout, but lower temperatures and increased flows also improved habitat quality for mature trout at downstream sites during summer. These findings, and those from companion studies, indicate that moderately turbid waters from the portal had few if any adverse impacts on trout populations and overall fish communities in the Upper Esopus Creek during this study.

  3. Habitat degradation negatively affects auditory settlement behavior of coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Timothy A C; Harding, Harry R; Wong, Kathryn E; Merchant, Nathan D; Meekan, Mark G; McCormick, Mark I; Radford, Andrew N; Simpson, Stephen D

    2018-05-15

    Coral reefs are increasingly degraded by climate-induced bleaching and storm damage. Reef recovery relies on recruitment of young fishes for the replenishment of functionally important taxa. Acoustic cues guide the orientation, habitat selection, and settlement of many fishes, but these processes may be impaired if degradation alters reef soundscapes. Here, we report spatiotemporally matched evidence of soundscapes altered by degradation from recordings taken before and after recent severe damage on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Postdegradation soundscapes were an average of 15 dB re 1 µPa quieter and had significantly reduced acoustic complexity, richness, and rates of invertebrate snaps compared with their predegradation equivalents. We then used these matched recordings in complementary light-trap and patch-reef experiments to assess responses of wild fish larvae under natural conditions. We show that postdegradation soundscapes were 8% less attractive to presettlement larvae and resulted in 40% less settlement of juvenile fishes than predegradation soundscapes; postdegradation soundscapes were no more attractive than open-ocean sound. However, our experimental design does not allow an estimate of how much attraction and settlement to isolated postdegradation soundscapes might change compared with isolated predegradation soundscapes. Reductions in attraction and settlement were qualitatively similar across and within all trophic guilds and taxonomic groups analyzed. These patterns may lead to declines in fish populations, exacerbating degradation. Acoustic changes might therefore trigger a feedback loop that could impair reef resilience. To understand fully the recovery potential of coral reefs, we must learn to listen. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  4. The scales of variability of stream fish assemblage at tributary confluences

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    István Czeglédi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Tributary confluences play an important role in the dispersal of organisms, and consequently, in shaping regional scale diversity in stream networks. Despite their importance in dispersal processes, little is known about how ecological assemblages are organized in these habitats. We studied the scales of variability of stream fish assemblages over three seasons using a hierarchical sampling design, which incorporated three tributaries, three sites at the mouth of each tributary and using four sampling units at each site. We found strong scale dependent variability in species richness, composition and relative abundance. Most of the variation was accounted for by the interactive effect of season, between stream and between site effects, while habitat structure of the sampling units had a relatively minor role. Species richness showed a continuous decrease from the mainstem river in most cases, while species composition and relative abundance changed less consistently along the longitudinal profile. Consequently, we found that not only the junctions presented a strong filter on the species pool, but some species were filtered out if they passed this critical habitat bottleneck. Spatial position of the tributaries along the river also contributed to assemblage variability in the confluences. Overall, our results suggest high variability in fish assemblages across multiple scales at tributary confluences. Environmental management should take a more critical care on the filtering role of tributary confluences in species dispersal, for better understanding patterns and processes in the branches of dendritic stream networks.

  5. A new freshwater biodiversity indicator based on fish community assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanne Clavel

    Full Text Available Biodiversity has reached a critical state. In this context, stakeholders need indicators that both provide a synthetic view of the state of biodiversity and can be used as communication tools. Using river fishes as model, we developed community indicators that aim at integrating various components of biodiversity including interactions between species and ultimately the processes influencing ecosystem functions. We developed indices at the species level based on (i the concept of specialization directly linked to the niche theory and (ii the concept of originality measuring the overall degree of differences between a species and all other species in the same clade. Five major types of originality indices, based on phylogeny, habitat-linked and diet-linked morphology, life history traits, and ecological niche were analyzed. In a second step, we tested the relationship between all biodiversity indices and land use as a proxy of human pressures. Fish communities showed no significant temporal trend for most of these indices, but both originality indices based on diet- and habitat- linked morphology showed a significant increase through time. From a spatial point of view, all indices clearly singled out Corsica Island as having higher average originality and specialization. Finally, we observed that the originality index based on niche traits might be used as an informative biodiversity indicator because we showed it is sensitive to different land use classes along a landscape artificialization gradient. Moreover, its response remained unchanged over two other land use classifications at the global scale and also at the regional scale.

  6. 76 FR 64248 - Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery; Closure of the 2011 Gulf of Mexico Commercial Sector for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-18

    .... 040205043-4043-01] RIN 0648-XA766 Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery; Closure of the 2011 Gulf of Mexico... the commercial sector for greater amberjack in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico... Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery...

  7. 75 FR 2469 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-15

    .... SUMMARY: NMFS issues this proposed rule to implement Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management... proposed rule is to balance the continued operation of the bottom longline component of the reef fish...

  8. 75 FR 21512 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-26

    ...: NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council... operation of the bottom longline component of the reef fish fishery in the eastern Gulf while maintaining...

  9. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of American Samoa since 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  10. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Rapid Ecological Assessments of Fish Belt Transect Surveys (BLT) at Coral Reef Sites across the Pacific Ocean from 2000 to 2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Belt transects (BLT) is one of the non-invasive underwater-survey methods to enumerate the diverse components of diurnally active shallow-water reef fish...

  11. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of fish communities in the Florida Reef Tract from 2014-05-01 to 2014-10-01 (NCEI Accession 0156445)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Divers conducted reef visual census (RVC) fish surveys and habitat assessments at 433 sites in the Florida Keys, 436 sites in the Dry Tortugas and 320 sites in the...

  12. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the Hawaiian Archipelago since 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  13. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the Mariana Archipelago since 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  14. Riparian forest buffers mitigate the effects of deforestation on fish assemblages in tropical headwater streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorion, Christopher M; Kennedy, Brian P

    2009-03-01

    Riparian forest buffers may play a critical role in moderating the impacts of deforestation on tropical stream ecosystems, but very few studies have examined the ecological effects of riparian buffers in the tropics. To test the hypothesis that riparian forest buffers can reduce the impacts of deforestation on tropical stream biota, we sampled fish assemblages in lowland headwater streams in southeastern Costa Rica representing three different treatments: (1) forested reference stream reaches, (2) stream reaches adjacent to pasture with a riparian forest buffer averaging at least 15 m in width on each bank, and (3) stream reaches adjacent to pasture without a riparian forest buffer. Land cover upstream from the study reaches was dominated by forest at all of the sites, allowing us to isolate the reach-scale effects of the three study treatments. Fish density was significantly higher in pasture reaches than in forest and forest buffer reaches, mostly due to an increase in herbivore-detritivores, but fish biomass did not differ among reach types. Fish species richness was also higher in pasture reaches than in forested reference reaches, while forest buffer reaches were intermediate. Overall, the taxonomic and trophic structure of fish assemblages in forest and forest buffer reaches was very similar, while assemblages in pasture reaches were quite distinct. These patterns were persistent across three sampling periods during our 15-month study. Differences in stream ecosystem conditions between pasture reaches and forested sites, including higher stream temperatures, reduced fruit and seed inputs, and a trend toward increased periphyton abundance, appeared to favor fish species normally found in larger streams and facilitate a native invasion process. Forest buffer reaches, in contrast, had stream temperatures and allochthonous inputs more similar to forested streams. Our results illustrate the importance of riparian areas to stream ecosystem integrity in the tropics

  15. Defining critical habitats of threatened and endemic reef fishes with a multivariate approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Steven W; Clarke, K Robert; Rushworth, Kelvin; Dalton, Steven J

    2014-12-01

    Understanding critical habitats of threatened and endemic animals is essential for mitigating extinction risks, developing recovery plans, and siting reserves, but assessment methods are generally lacking. We evaluated critical habitats of 8 threatened or endemic fish species on coral and rocky reefs of subtropical eastern Australia, by measuring physical and substratum-type variables of habitats at fish sightings. We used nonmetric and metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS, mMDS), Analysis of similarities (ANOSIM), similarity percentages analysis (SIMPER), permutational analysis of multivariate dispersions (PERMDISP), and other multivariate tools to distinguish critical habitats. Niche breadth was widest for 2 endemic wrasses, and reef inclination was important for several species, often found in relatively deep microhabitats. Critical habitats of mainland reef species included small caves or habitat-forming hosts such as gorgonian corals and black coral trees. Hard corals appeared important for reef fishes at Lord Howe Island, and red algae for mainland reef fishes. A wide range of habitat variables are required to assess critical habitats owing to varied affinities of species to different habitat features. We advocate assessments of critical habitats matched to the spatial scale used by the animals and a combination of multivariate methods. Our multivariate approach furnishes a general template for assessing the critical habitats of species, understanding how these vary among species, and determining differences in the degree of habitat specificity. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Nocturnality constrains morphological and functional diversity in the eyes of reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmitz Lars

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ambient light levels are often considered to drive the evolution of eye form and function. Diel activity pattern is the main mechanism controlling the visual environment of teleost reef fish, with day-active (diurnal fish active in well-illuminated conditions, whereas night-active (nocturnal fish cope with dim light. Physiological optics predicts several specific evolutionary responses to dim-light vision that should be reflected in visual performance features of the eye. Results We analyzed a large comparative dataset on morphological traits of the eyes in 265 species of teleost reef fish in 43 different families. The eye morphology of nocturnal reef teleosts is characterized by a syndrome that indicates better light sensitivity, including large relative eye size, high optical ratio and large, rounded pupils. Improved dim-light image formation comes at the cost of reduced depth of focus and reduction of potential accommodative lens movement. Diurnal teleost reef fish, released from the stringent functional requirements of dim-light vision have much higher morphological and optical diversity than nocturnal species, with large ranges of optical ratio, depth of focus, and lens accommodation. Conclusions Physical characteristics of the environment are an important factor in the evolution and diversification of the vertebrate eye. Both teleost reef fish and terrestrial amniotes meet the functional requirements of dim-light vision with a similar evolutionary response of morphological and optical modifications. The trade-off between improved dim-light vision and reduced optical diversity may be a key factor in explaining the lower trophic diversity of nocturnal reef teleosts.

  17. Indices for assessing coral reef fish biodiversity: the need for a change in habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loiseau, Nicolas; Gaertner, Jean-Claude

    2015-09-01

    We present the first representative and quantified overview of the indices used worldwide for assessing the biodiversity of coral reef fishes. On this basis, we discuss the suitability and drawbacks of the indices most widely used in the assessment of coral fish biodiversity. An extensive and systematic survey of the literature focused on coral reef fish biodiversity was conducted from 1990 up to the present. We found that the multicomponent aspect of biodiversity, which is considered as a key feature of biodiversity for numerous terrestrial and marine ecosystems, has been poorly taken into account in coral reef fish studies. Species richness is still strongly dominant while other diversity components, such as functional diversity, are underestimated even when functional information is available. We also demonstrate that the reason for choosing particular indices is often unclear, mainly based on empirical rationales and/or the reproduction of widespread habits, but generally with no clear relevance with regard to the aims of the studies. As a result, the most widely used indices (species richness, Shannon, etc.) would appear to be poorly suited to meeting the main challenges facing the monitoring of coral reef fish biodiversity in the future. Our results clearly show that coral reef scientists should rather take advantage of the multicomponent aspect of biodiversity. To facilitate this approach, we propose general guidelines to serve as a basis for the selection of indices that provide complementary and relevant information for monitoring the response of coral reef fish biodiversity in the face of structuring factors (natural or anthropic). The aim of these guidelines was to achieve a better match between the properties of the selected indices and the context of each study (e.g. expected effect of the main structuring factors, nature of data available).

  18. Non-Random Variability in Functional Composition of Coral Reef Fish Communities along an Environmental Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah G; Taylor, Marc H; Husain, Aidah A A; Teichberg, Mirta C; Ferse, Sebastian C A

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the coral reef complex can affect predator-prey relationships, resource availability and niche utilisation in the associated fish community, which may be reflected in decreased stability of the functional traits present in a community. This is because particular traits may be favoured by a changing environment, or by habitat degradation. Furthermore, other traits can be selected against because degradation can relax the association between fishes and benthic habitat. We characterised six important ecological traits for fish species occurring at seven sites across a disturbed coral reef archipelago in Indonesia, where reefs have been exposed to eutrophication and destructive fishing practices for decades. Functional diversity was assessed using two complementary indices (FRic and RaoQ) and correlated to important environmental factors (live coral cover and rugosity, representing local reef health, and distance from shore, representing a cross-shelf environmental gradient). Indices were examined for both a change in their mean, as well as temporal (short-term; hours) and spatial (cross-shelf) variability, to assess whether fish-habitat association became relaxed along with habitat degradation. Furthermore, variability in individual traits was examined to identify the traits that are most affected by habitat change. Increases in the general reef health indicators, live coral cover and rugosity (correlated with distance from the mainland), were associated with decreases in the variability of functional diversity and with community-level changes in the abundance of several traits (notably home range size, maximum length, microalgae, detritus and small invertebrate feeding and reproductive turnover). A decrease in coral cover increased variability of RaoQ while rugosity and distance both inversely affected variability of FRic; however, averages for these indices did not reveal patterns associated with the environment. These results suggest that increased

  19. Variation in the composition of corals, fishes, sponges, echinoderms, ascidians, molluscs, foraminifera and macroalgae across a pronounced in-to-offshore environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay-Thousand Islands coral reef complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleary, D F R; Polónia, A R M; Renema, W; Hoeksema, B W; Rachello-Dolmen, P G; Moolenbeek, R G; Budiyanto, A; Yahmantoro; Tuti, Y; Giyanto; Draisma, S G A; Prud'homme van Reine, W F; Hariyanto, R; Gittenberger, A; Rikoh, M S; de Voogd, N J

    2016-09-30

    Substrate cover, water quality parameters and assemblages of corals, fishes, sponges, echinoderms, ascidians, molluscs, benthic foraminifera and macroalgae were sampled across a pronounced environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay-Thousand Islands reef complex. Inshore sites mainly consisted of sand, rubble and turf algae with elevated temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and chlorophyll concentrations and depauperate assemblages of all taxa. Live coral cover was very low inshore and mainly consisted of sparse massive coral heads and a few encrusting species. Faunal assemblages were more speciose and compositionally distinct mid- and offshore compared to inshore. There were, however, small-scale differences among taxa. Certain midshore sites, for example, housed assemblages resembling those typical of the inshore environment but this differed depending on the taxon. Substrate, water quality and spatial variables together explained from 31% (molluscs) to 72% (foraminifera) of the variation in composition. In general, satellite-derived parameters outperformed locally measured parameters. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Exploring the nature of ecological specialization in a coral reef fish community: morphology, diet and foraging microhabitat use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Robbins, William D; Bellwood, David R

    2015-09-22

    Patterns of ecological specialization offer invaluable information about ecosystems. Yet, specialization is rarely quantified across several ecological niche axes and variables beyond the link between morphological and dietary specialization have received little attention. Here, we provide a quantitative evaluation of ecological specialization in a coral reef fish assemblage (f. Acanthuridae) along one fundamental and two realized niche axes. Specifically, we examined ecological specialization in 10 surgeonfish species with regards to morphology and two realized niche axes associated with diet and foraging microhabitat utilization using a recently developed multidimensional framework. We then investigated the potential relationships between morphological and behavioural specialization. These relationships differed markedly from the traditional ecomorphological paradigm. While morphological specialization showed no relationship with dietary specialization, it exhibited a strong relationship with foraging microhabitat specialization. However, this relationship was inverted: species with specialized morphologies were microhabitat generalists, whereas generalized morphotypes were microhabitat specialists. Interestingly, this mirrors relationships found in plant-pollinator communities and may also be applicable to other ecosystems, highlighting the potential importance of including niche axes beyond dietary specialization into ecomorphological frameworks. On coral reefs, it appears that morphotypes commonly perceived as most generalized may, in fact, be specialized in exploiting flat and easily accessible microhabitats. © 2015 The Author(s).

  1. [Trophic webs of reef fishes in northwestern Cuba. I. Stomach contents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Ivet; Aguilar, Consuelo; González Sanón, Gaspar

    2008-06-01

    Trophic webs of reef fishes in northwestern Cuba. I. Stomach contents. Studies on the reef fishes of Cuba are not rare, but most have two basic limitations: small sample sizes and exclusion of small species. Our study sampled more species and larger samples in the sublitoral region of Havana city (23 degrees 7.587' N, 82 degrees 25.793' W), 2-18 m deep. We collected fish weekly from October 2004 through February 2006 with traps and harpoon. Overfishing has modified the fish communities. We used the relative importance index to describe the diets of carnivore and omnivore species, and a modification of the relative abundance method for the herbivores and sponge-eating species. The main food items are benthonic crustaceans (crabs, shrimp, copepods) and bony fish (mainly demersal species). Most species are eurifagous and thus, less affected by anthropic disturbance than specialist feeders.

  2. Fish assemblages, connectivity, and habitat rehabilitation in a diked Great Lakes coastal wetland complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalski, Kurt P.; Wiley, Michael J.; Wilcox, Douglas A.

    2014-01-01

    Fish and plant assemblages in the highly modified Crane Creek coastal wetland complex of Lake Erie were sampled to characterize their spatial and seasonal patterns and to examine the implications of the hydrologic connection of diked wetland units to Lake Erie. Fyke netting captured 52 species and an abundance of fish in the Lake Erie–connected wetlands, but fewer than half of those species and much lower numbers and total masses of fish were captured in diked wetland units. Although all wetland units were immediately adjacent to Lake Erie, there were also pronounced differences in water quality and wetland vegetation between the hydrologically isolated and lake-connected wetlands. Large seasonal variations in fish assemblage composition and biomass were observed in connected wetland units but not in disconnected units. Reestablishment of hydrologic connectivity in diked wetland units would allow coastal Lake Erie fish to use these vegetated habitats seasonally, although connectivity does appear to pose some risks, such as the expansion of invasive plants and localized reductions in water quality. Periodic isolation and drawdown of the diked units could still be used to mimic intermediate levels of disturbance and manage invasive wetland vegetation.

  3. Comparison of fish assemblages in two disjoined segments of an oxbow lake in relation to connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dembkowski, Daniel J.; Miranda, Leandro E.

    2011-01-01

    Disconnection between adjacent habitat patches is one of the most notable factors contributing to the decreased biotic integrity of global ecosystems. Connectivity is especially threatened in river–floodplain ecosystems in which channel modifications have disrupted the lateral links between the main river channel and floodplain lakes. In this study, we examined the interaction between the interconnectedness of floodplain lakes and main river channels and fish assemblage descriptors. Fish assemblages in two segments of an oxbow lake, one connected to and the other isolated from the Yazoo River, Mississippi, were estimated with daytime boat electrofishing during 2007–2010. The frequency of connection for the connected segment ranged from zero to seven individual events per year (mean, ∼2). The timing of most connection events reflected regional precipitation patterns. Greater species richness, diversity, and evenness were observed in the connected segment. Additionally, the connected segment had a greater abundance of piscivores and periodic life history strategists. All fishes collected solely in the connected segment were typically riverine in nature, whereas fishes collected only in the disconnected segment were more lacustrine adapted. These results suggest that periodic connection and the associated habitat heterogeneity that it provides are important for maintaining fish species richness and diversity in large-river floodplain lakes. We suggest that maintenance or restoration of connection be an integral part of fluvial ecosystem management plans.

  4. Ecotypes as a concept for exploring responses to climate change in fish assemblages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelhard, George H.; Ellis, Jim R.; Payne, Mark

    2011-01-01

    How do species-rich fish assemblages respond to climate change or to other anthropogenic or environmental drivers? To explore this, a categorization concept is presented whereby species are assigned with respect to six ecotype classifications, according to biogeography, horizontal and vertical...... or combinations of them. The post-1989 warm biological regime appears to have favoured pelagic species more than demersal species. These community-level patterns agree with the expected responses of ecotypes to climate change and also with anticipated vulnerability to fishing pressure....... habitat preference, trophic guild, trophic level, or body size. These classification schemes are termed ecotypology, and the system is applied to fish in the North Sea using International Bottom Trawl Survey data. Over the period 1977–2008, there were changes in the North Sea fish community that can...

  5. Assessing the functional diversity of herbivorous reef fishes using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew

    2016-12-01

    Herbivorous coral reef fishes play an important role in helping to structure their environment directly by consuming algae and indirectly by promoting coral health and growth. These fishes are generally separated into three broad groups: browsers, grazers, and excavators/scrapers, with these groupings often thought to have a fixed general function and all fishes within a group thought to have similar ecological roles. This categorization assumes a high level of functional redundancy within herbivorous fishes. However, recent evidence questions the use of this broad classification scheme, and posits that there may actually be more resource partitioning within these functional groupings. Here, I use a compound-specific stable isotope approach (CSIA) to show there appears to be a greater diversity of functional roles than previously assumed within broad functional groups. The δ13C signatures from essential amino acids of reef end-members (coral, macroalgae, detritus, and phytoplankton) and fish muscle were analyzed to investigate differences in resource use between fishes. Most end-members displayed clear isotopic differences, and most fishes within functional groups were dissimilar in their isotopic signature, implying differences in the resources they target. No grazers closely resembled each other isotopically, implying a much lower level of functional redundancy within this group; scraping parrotfish were also distinct from excavating parrotfish and to a lesser degree distinct between scrapers. This study highlights the potential of CSIA to help distinguish fine-scale ecological differences within other groups of reef organisms as well. These results question the utility of lumping nominally herbivorous fishes into broad groups with assumed similar roles. Given the apparent functional differences between nominally herbivorous reef fishes, it is important for managers to incorporate the diversity of functional roles these fish play.

  6. Assessing the functional diversity of herbivorous reef fishes using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Herbivorous coral reef fishes play an important role in helping to structure their environment directly by consuming algae and indirectly by promoting coral health and growth. These fishes are generally separated into three broad groups: browsers, grazers, and excavators/scrapers, with these groupings often thought to have a fixed general function and all fishes within a group thought to have similar ecological roles. This categorization assumes a high level of functional redundancy within herbivorous fishes. However, recent evidence questions the use of this broad classification scheme, and posits that there may actually be more resource partitioning within these functional groupings. Here, I use a compound-specific stable isotope approach (CSIA) to show there appears to be a greater diversity of functional roles than previously assumed within broad functional groups. The δ13C signatures from essential amino acids of reef end-members (coral, macroalgae, detritus, and phytoplankton) and fish muscle were analyzed to investigate differences in resource use between fishes. Most end-members displayed clear isotopic differences, and most fishes within functional groups were dissimilar in their isotopic signature, implying differences in the resources they target. No grazers closely resembled each other isotopically, implying a much lower level of functional redundancy within this group; scraping parrotfish were also distinct from excavating parrotfish and to a lesser degree distinct between scrapers. This study highlights the potential of CSIA to help distinguish fine-scale ecological differences within other groups of reef organisms as well. These results question the utility of lumping nominally herbivorous fishes into broad groups with assumed similar roles. Given the apparent functional differences between nominally herbivorous reef fishes, it is important for managers to incorporate the diversity of functional roles these fish play.

  7. Using otolith microchemistry and shape to assess the habitat value of oil structures for reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Ashley M; Macreadie, Peter I; Bishop, David P; Booth, David J

    2015-05-01

    Over 7500 oil and gas structures (e.g. oil platforms) are installed in offshore waters worldwide and many will require decommissioning within the next two decades. The decision to remove such structures or turn them into reefs (i.e. 'rigs-to-reefs') hinges on the habitat value they provide, yet this can rarely be determined because the residency of mobile species is difficult to establish. Here, we test a novel solution to this problem for reef fishes; the use of otolith (earstone) properties to identify oil structures of residence. We compare the otolith microchemistry and otolith shape of a site-attached coral reef fish (Pseudanthias rubrizonatus) among four oil structures (depth 82-135 m, separated by 9.7-84.2 km) on Australia's North West Shelf to determine if populations developed distinct otolith properties during their residency. Microchemical signatures obtained from the otolith edge using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) differed among oil structures, driven by elements Sr, Ba and Mn, and to a lesser extent Mg and Fe. A combination of microchemical data from the otolith edge and elliptical Fourier (shape) descriptors allowed allocation of individuals to their 'home' structure with moderate accuracy (overall allocation accuracy: 63.3%, range: 45.5-78.1%), despite lower allocation accuracies for each otolith property in isolation (microchemistry: 47.5%, otolith shape: 45%). Site-specific microchemical signatures were also stable enough through time to distinguish populations during 3 separate time periods, suggesting that residence histories could be recreated by targeting previous growth zones in the otolith. Our results indicate that reef fish can develop unique otolith properties during their residency on oil structures which may be useful for assessing the habitat value of individual structures. The approach outlined here may also be useful for determining the residency of reef fish on artificial reefs, which would

  8. Guam Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program Reef Fish Surveys since 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Government of Guam's Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program, coordinated by the Guam Coastal Management Program until October 2013 and now coordinated by the...

  9. Guam Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program Reef Fish Surveys FY2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Government of Guam's Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program, coordinated by the University of Guam Marine Lab, involves the collection of data for a suite of...

  10. Facilitation in Caribbean coral reefs: high densities of staghorn coral foster greater coral condition and reef fish composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, Brittany E; Miller, Margaret W; Pausch, Rachel; Richter, Lee

    2017-05-01

    Recovery of the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is posited to play a key role in Caribbean reef resilience. At four Caribbean locations (including one restored and three extant populations), we quantified characteristics of contemporary staghorn coral across increasing conspecific densities, and investigated a hypothesis of facilitation between staghorn coral and reef fishes. High staghorn densities in the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly less partial mortality, higher branch growth, and supported greater fish abundances compared to lower densities within the same population. In contrast, partial mortality, branch growth, and fish community composition did not vary with staghorn density at the three other study locations where staghorn densities were lower overall. This suggests that density-dependent effects between the coral and fish community may only manifest at high staghorn densities. We then evaluated one facilitative mechanism for such density-dependence, whereby abundant fishes sheltering in dense staghorn aggregations deliver nutrients back to the coral, fueling faster coral growth, thereby creating more fish habitat. Indeed, dense staghorn aggregations within the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly higher growth rates, tissue nitrogen, and zooxanthellae densities than sparse aggregations. Similarly, higher tissue nitrogen was induced in a macroalgae bioassay outplanted into the same dense and sparse aggregations, confirming greater bioavailability of nutrients at high staghorn densities. Our findings inform staghorn restoration efforts, suggesting that the most effective targets may be higher coral densities than previously thought. These coral-dense aggregations may reap the benefits of positive facilitation between the staghorn and fish community, favoring the growth and survivorship of this threatened species.

  11. Functional differentiation between fish assemblages from forested and deforested streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício Barreto Teresa

    Full Text Available We tested the hypothesis that streams in deforested areas shelter different fish communities to nearby forested areas, and that these disparities are due to environmental parameters that limit or benefit different species according to their functional traits. We compared the community composition of three south east Brazilian streams flanked by riparian forest with three nearby streams in deforested areas. The following functional traits were considered: diet, habitat use, water flow preference, size, and hypoxia tolerance. Differentiation between forested and deforested streams corresponded with the different contributions of three functional groups. Species reported in the literature to be hypoxia tolerant, and exhibiting a variable combination of the other traits prevailed in deforested streams, although we did not find substantial differences in oxygen levels between forested and deforested streams. In forested streams, benthic species associated with a high water flow and an insectivorous diet were dominant. Changes in streams induced by deforestation which are associated with habitat availability, food resources, and physicochemical conditions appear to restrict the occurrence of specialized species and instead benefit tolerant generalists.

  12. Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages along Environmental Gradients on Lagoonal Reefs in Belize.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin H Baumann

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are increasingly threatened by global and local anthropogenic stressors such as rising seawater temperature, nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, and overfishing. Although many studies have investigated the impacts of local and global stressors on coral reefs, we still do not fully understand how these stressors influence coral community structure, particularly across environmental gradients on a reef system. Here, we investigate coral community composition across three different temperature and productivity regimes along a nearshore-offshore gradient on lagoonal reefs of the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS. A novel metric was developed using ultra-high-resolution satellite-derived estimates of sea surface temperatures (SST to classify reefs as exposed to low (lowTP, moderate (modTP, or high (highTP temperature parameters over 10 years (2003 to 2012. Coral species richness, abundance, diversity, density, and percent cover were lower at highTP sites relative to lowTP and modTP sites, but these coral community traits did not differ significantly between lowTP and modTP sites. Analysis of coral life history strategies revealed that highTP sites were dominated by hardy stress-tolerant and fast-growing weedy coral species, while lowTP and modTP sites consisted of competitive, generalist, weedy, and stress-tolerant coral species. Satellite-derived estimates of Chlorophyll-a (chl-a were obtained for 13-years (2003-2015 as a proxy for primary production. Chl-a concentrations were highest at highTP sites, medial at modTP sites, and lowest at lowTP sites. Notably, thermal parameters correlated better with coral community traits between site types than productivity, suggesting that temperature (specifically number of days above the thermal bleaching threshold played a greater role in defining coral community structure than productivity on the MBRS. Dominance of weedy and stress-tolerant genera at highTP sites suggests that corals

  13. Avoiding conflicts and protecting coral reefs: Customary management benefits marine habitats and fish biomass

    KAUST Repository

    Campbell, Stuart J.

    2012-10-01

    Abstract One of the major goals of coral reef conservation is to determine the most effective means of managing marine resources in regions where economic conditions often limit the options available. For example, no-take fishing areas can be impractical in regions where people rely heavily on reef fish for food. In this study we test whether coral reef health differed among areas with varying management practices and socio-economic conditions on Pulau Weh in the Indonesian province of Aceh. Our results show that gear restrictions, in particular prohibiting the use of nets, were successful in minimizing habitat degradation and maintaining fish biomass despite ongoing access to the fishery. Reef fish biomass and hard-coral cover were two- to eight-fold higher at sites where fishing nets were prohibited. The guiding principle of the local customary management system, Panglima Laot, is to reduce conflict among community members over access to marine resources. Consequently, conservation benefits in Aceh have arisen from a customary system that lacks a specific environmental ethic or the means for strong resource-based management. Panglima Laot includes many of the features of successful institutions, such as clearly defined membership rights and the opportunity for resource users to be involved in making, enforcing and changing the rules. Such mechanisms to reduce conflict are the key to the success of marine resource management, particularly in settings that lack resources for enforcement. © 2012 Fauna & Flora International.

  14. Coral-macroalgal phase shifts or reef resilience: links with diversity and functional roles of herbivorous fishes on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheal, A. J.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; Cripps, E.; Emslie, M. J.; Jonker, M.; Schaffelke, B.; Sweatman, H.

    2010-12-01

    Changes from coral to macroalgal dominance following disturbances to corals symbolize the global degradation of coral reefs. The development of effective conservation measures depends on understanding the causes of such phase shifts. The prevailing view that coral-macroalgal phase shifts commonly occur due to insufficient grazing by fishes is based on correlation with overfishing and inferences from models and small-scale experiments rather than on long-term quantitative field studies of fish communities at affected and resilient sites. Consequently, the specific characteristics of herbivorous fish communities that most promote reef resilience under natural conditions are not known, though this information is critical for identifying vulnerable ecosystems. In this study, 11 years of field surveys recorded the development of the most persistent coral-macroalgal phase shift (>7 years) yet observed on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This shift followed extensive coral mortality caused by thermal stress (coral bleaching) and damaging storms. Comparisons with two similar reefs that suffered similar disturbances but recovered relatively rapidly demonstrated that the phase shift occurred despite high abundances of one herbivore functional group (scraping/excavating parrotfishes: Labridae). However, the shift was strongly associated with low fish herbivore diversity and low abundances of algal browsers (predominantly Siganidae) and grazers/detritivores (Acanthuridae), suggesting that one or more of these factors underpin reef resilience and so deserve particular protection. Herbivorous fishes are not harvested on the GBR, and the phase shift was not enhanced by unusually high nutrient levels. This shows that unexploited populations of herbivorous fishes cannot ensure reef resilience even under benign conditions and suggests that reefs could lose resilience under relatively low fishing pressure. Predictions of more severe and widespread coral mortality due to global

  15. The shallow-water fish assemblage of Isla del Coco National Park, Costa Rica: structure and patterns in an isolated, predator-dominated ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan M. Friedlander

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Fishes at Isla del Coco National Park, Costa Rica, were surveyed as part of a larger scientific expedition to the area in September 2009. The average total biomass of nearshore fishes was 7.8 tonnes per ha, among the largest observed in the tropics, with apex predators such as sharks, jacks, and groupers accounting for nearly 40% of the total biomass. The abundance of reef and pelagic sharks, particularly large aggregations of threatened species such as the scalloped hammerhead shark (up to 42 hammerheads ha-1 and large schools of jacks and snappers show the capacity for high biomass in unfished ecosystems in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. However, the abundance of hammerhead and reef whitetip sharks appears to have been declining since the late 1990s, and likely causes may include increasing fishing pressure on sharks in the region and illegal fishing inside the Park. One Galapagos shark tagged on September 20, 2009 in the Isla del Coco National Park moved 255km southeast towards Malpelo Island in Colombia, when it stopped transmitting. These results contribute to the evidence that sharks conduct large-scale movements between marine protected areas (Isla del Coco, Malpelo, Galápagos in the Eastern tropical Pacific and emphasize the need for regional-scale management. More than half of the species and 90% of the individuals observed were endemic to the tropical eastern Pacific. These high biomass and endemicity values highlight the uniqueness of the fish assemblage at Isla del Coco and its importance as a global biodiversity hotspot.

  16. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally J Holbrook

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia. Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  17. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Messmer, Vanessa; Brooks, Andrew J; Srinivasan, Maya; Munday, Philip L; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2015-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia). Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity) in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  18. Seasonal changes of the pelagic fish assemblage in a temperate estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagan, S. M.; Able, K. W.

    2003-01-01

    The pelagic (i.e. fishes that spend most of their time swimming and feeding in the water column) fish assemblage was examined within a temperate estuary to determine the seasonal patterns of abundance, biomass, richness, and species composition. These measures were related to abiotic measures including temperature, salinity, water transparency, and depth. Pelagic fish (nGasterosteus aculeatus and age 1+ by M. menidia. Spring (April-early June) was overwhelmingly dominated by age 0+ C. harengus. Early summer (late June-early July) was relatively species rich and characterized by age 0+ of Brevoortia tyrannus, Pomatomus saltatrix, Alosa pseudoharengus, and age 1+ of A. mitchilli. Late summer (late July-August) remained relatively species rich and included mostly age 0+ of A. mitchilli, A. hepsetus, and M. menidia. Autumn (September-November) continued to have high catches of age 0+ of M. menidia and A. mitchilli. As expected for temperate estuaries, the best of the measured abiotic predictors of these groupings included temperature, salinity, and degree of change in temperature. However, timing of life history characteristics, such as location, and timing of reproduction and migration also influenced the seasonal occurrence of these pelagic species. The large abundance and biomass of a relatively few species, as observed in this study, are typical of estuaries, although this is one of the few studies that have focused solely on the pelagic component of estuarine fish assemblages.

  19. Temporal variability of fish larvae assemblages: influence of natural and anthropogenic disturbances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Reynalte-Tataje

    Full Text Available Natural and induced disturbances greatly influence the temporal distribution of ichthyoplankton abundance. This study assesses and compares the temporal variability of fish larvae assemblages in controlled and free environments to determine the influence of environment variables on the main taxa in these systems. The study was conducted at the Chapecó (without dam impact and Ligeiro (with dam impact river mouths, which are located in the upper Uruguay River. Samples were made between October 2001 and March 2004 during three reproductive periods. The larvae assemblages were composed of small and medium-sized Characiformes and Siluriformes. The variation in the distribution of larvae was mainly temporal (>85%. When the three reproductive periods were compared, it was observed in the second period, characterized by a larger water flow and a lower temperature, that there was a reduction in abundance, a lower number of taxa, an absence of stages in post-flexion and a high dissimilarity in larvae assemblage structure. In general, the environmental variables of water flow and temperature most influenced the distribution of egg and larvae abundance. In the studied area, a smaller temporal variability was observed in the structure of larvae assemblages at the sampling sites in the Chapecó River mouth than in in the Ligeiro River mouth under the influence of dams.

  20. The mangrove nursery paradigm revisited: otolith stable isotopes support nursery-to-reef movements by Indo-Pacific fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimirei, Ismael A; Nagelkerken, Ivan; Mgaya, Yunus D; Huijbers, Chantal M

    2013-01-01

    Mangroves and seagrass beds have long been perceived as important nurseries for many fish species. While there is growing evidence from the Western Atlantic that mangrove habitats are intricately connected to coral reefs through ontogenetic fish migrations, there is an ongoing debate of the value of these coastal ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific. The present study used natural tags, viz. otolith stable carbon and oxygen isotopes, to investigate for the first time the degree to which multiple tropical juvenile habitats subsidize coral reef fish populations in the Indo Pacific (Tanzania). Otoliths of three reef fish species (Lethrinus harak, L. lentjan and Lutjanus fulviflamma) were collected in mangrove, seagrass and coral reef habitats and analyzed for stable isotope ratios in the juvenile and adult otolith zones. δ(13)C signatures were significantly depleted in the juvenile compared to the adult zones, indicative of different habitat use through ontogeny. Maximum likelihood analysis identified that 82% of adult reef L. harak had resided in either mangrove (29%) or seagrass (53%) or reef (18%) habitats as juveniles. Of adult L. fulviflamma caught from offshore reefs, 99% had passed through mangroves habitats as juveniles. In contrast, L. lentjan adults originated predominantly from coral reefs (65-72%) as opposed to inshore vegetated habitats (28-35%). This study presents conclusive evidence for a nursery role of Indo-Pacific mangrove habitats for reef fish populations. It shows that intertidal habitats that are only temporarily available can form an important juvenile habitat for some species, and that reef fish populations are often replenished by multiple coastal habitats. Maintaining connectivity between inshore vegetated habitats and coral reefs, and conserving habitat mosaics rather than single nursery habitats, is a major priority for the sustainability of various Indo Pacific fish populations.

  1. The mangrove nursery paradigm revisited: otolith stable isotopes support nursery-to-reef movements by Indo-Pacific fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael A Kimirei

    Full Text Available Mangroves and seagrass beds have long been perceived as important nurseries for many fish species. While there is growing evidence from the Western Atlantic that mangrove habitats are intricately connected to coral reefs through ontogenetic fish migrations, there is an ongoing debate of the value of these coastal ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific. The present study used natural tags, viz. otolith stable carbon and oxygen isotopes, to investigate for the first time the degree to which multiple tropical juvenile habitats subsidize coral reef fish populations in the Indo Pacific (Tanzania. Otoliths of three reef fish species (Lethrinus harak, L. lentjan and Lutjanus fulviflamma were collected in mangrove, seagrass and coral reef habitats and analyzed for stable isotope ratios in the juvenile and adult otolith zones. δ(13C signatures were significantly depleted in the juvenile compared to the adult zones, indicative of different habitat use through ontogeny. Maximum likelihood analysis identified that 82% of adult reef L. harak had resided in either mangrove (29% or seagrass (53% or reef (18% habitats as juveniles. Of adult L. fulviflamma caught from offshore reefs, 99% had passed through mangroves habitats as juveniles. In contrast, L. lentjan adults originated predominantly from coral reefs (65-72% as opposed to inshore vegetated habitats (28-35%. This study presents conclusive evidence for a nursery role of Indo-Pacific mangrove habitats for reef fish populations. It shows that intertidal habitats that are only temporarily available can form an important juvenile habitat for some species, and that reef fish populations are often replenished by multiple coastal habitats. Maintaining connectivity between inshore vegetated habitats and coral reefs, and conserving habitat mosaics rather than single nursery habitats, is a major priority for the sustainability of various Indo Pacific fish populations.

  2. Widespread hybridization and bidirectional introgression in sympatric species of coral reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Harrison, Hugo B.

    2017-10-28

    Coral reefs are highly diverse ecosystems, where numerous closely related species often coexist. How new species arise and are maintained in these high geneflow environments have been long-standing conundrums. Hybridization and patterns of introgression between sympatric species provide a unique insight into the mechanisms of speciation and the maintenance of species boundaries. In this study, we investigate the extent of hybridization between two closely related species of coral reef fish: the common coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus) and the bar-cheek coral trout (Plectropomus maculatus). Using a complementary set of 25 microsatellite loci, we distinguish pure genotype classes from first- and later-generation hybrids, identifying 124 interspecific hybrids from a collection of 2,991 coral trout sampled in inshore and mid-shelf reefs of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Hybrids were ubiquitous among reefs, fertile and spanned multiple generations suggesting both ecological and evolutionary processes are acting to maintain species barriers. We elaborate on these finding to investigate the extent of genomic introgression and admixture from 2,271 SNP loci recovered from a ddRAD library of pure and hybrid individuals. An analysis of genomic clines on recovered loci indicates that 261 SNP loci deviate from a model of neutral introgression, of which 132 indicate a pattern of introgression consistent with selection favouring both hybrid and parental genotypes. Our findings indicate genome-wide, bidirectional introgression between two sympatric species of coral reef fishes and provide further support to a growing body of evidence for the role of hybridization in the evolution of coral reef fishes.

  3. Local Stressors, Resilience, and Shifting Baselines on Coral Reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Matthew; Cuetos-Bueno, Javier; Nedlic, Osamu; Luckymiss, Marston; Houk, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how and why coral reefs have changed over the last twenty to thirty years is crucial for sustaining coral-reef resilience. We used a historical baseline from Kosrae, a typical small island in Micronesia, to examine changes in fish and coral assemblages since 1986. We found that natural gradients in the spatial distribution of fish and coral assemblages have become amplified, as island geography is now a stronger determinant of species abundance patterns, and habitat forming Acropora corals and large-bodied fishes that were once common on the leeward side of the island have become scarce. A proxy for fishing access best predicted the relative change in fish assemblage condition over time, and in turn, declining fish condition was the only factor correlated with declining coral condition, suggesting overfishing may have reduced ecosystem resilience. Additionally, a proxy for watershed pollution predicted modern coral assemblage condition, suggesting pollution is also reducing resilience in densely populated areas. Altogether, it appears that unsustainable fishing reduced ecosystem resilience, as fish composition has shifted to smaller species in lower trophic levels, driven by losses of large predators and herbivores. While prior literature and anecdotal reports indicate that major disturbance events have been rare in Kosrae, small localized disturbances coupled with reduced resilience may have slowly degraded reef condition through time. Improving coral-reef resilience in the face of climate change will therefore require improved understanding and management of growing artisanal fishing pressure and watershed pollution.

  4. Local Stressors, Resilience, and Shifting Baselines on Coral Reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew McLean

    Full Text Available Understanding how and why coral reefs have changed over the last twenty to thirty years is crucial for sustaining coral-reef resilience. We used a historical baseline from Kosrae, a typical small island in Micronesia, to examine changes in fish and coral assemblages since 1986. We found that natural gradients in the spatial distribution of fish and coral assemblages have become amplified, as island geography is now a stronger determinant of species abundance patterns, and habitat forming Acropora corals and large-bodied fishes that were once common on the leeward side of the island have become scarce. A proxy for fishing access best predicted the relative change in fish assemblage condition over time, and in turn, declining fish condition was the only factor correlated with declining coral condition, suggesting overfishing may have reduced ecosystem resilience. Additionally, a proxy for watershed pollution predicted modern coral assemblage condition, suggesting pollution is also reducing resilience in densely populated areas. Altogether, it appears that unsustainable fishing reduced ecosystem resilience, as fish composition has shifted to smaller species in lower trophic levels, driven by losses of large predators and herbivores. While prior literature and anecdotal reports indicate that major disturbance events have been rare in Kosrae, small localized disturbances coupled with reduced resilience may have slowly degraded reef condition through time. Improving coral-reef resilience in the face of climate change will therefore require improved understanding and management of growing artisanal fishing pressure and watershed pollution.

  5. Of reef fishes, overfishing and in situ observations of fish traps in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Virginia H.; Rogers, Caroline S.; Beets, J.

    1998-01-01

    Fishing with a variety of methods and gears, including traps, is allowed within the waters of Virgin Islands National Park (St. 10hn, U.S. Virgin Islands). Randall's 1 9 6 1 observation of the effects of overushing in nearshore waters off Sto John has been followed by three and a half decades of reports documenting the declining reef fish catch in the Virgin Islands and much of the Caribbean. To assess the state of the trap fishery in St. John waters, traps set by fishers were visually censused in situ in 1992, 1993 and 1994 both inside and outside park waters. Fifty-nine species of fishes representing 23 families and 1340 individuals were identified from 285 traps set in five habitat types (coral reef, octocoral hard-bottom, seagrass beds, algal plains and non-living substrate). The greatest number of observed traps were in algal plain (31%) and gorgonian habitat (27%), pointing to greater exploitation of deeper, non­ coral habitats. Coral habitat accounted for the most species trapped (41), whereas the mean number of fishes per trap was highest in algal plain (5.7, se=0.6). Six species made up 51% of all fish observed in traps. The Acanthuridae was the most abundant family. Species composition and number of fishes per trap were similar inside and outside park waters. Scarids and serranids were more frequently observed in traps inside the park. Between 1992 and 1994. patterns in the data emerged: smaller numbers of fish per trap; shifts to smaller size classes; fewer serranids, lutjanids, sparids, and balistids, and all feeding guilds except herbivores per trap; more acanthurids per trap. Compared with other trap data from the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean - Florida region, the mean number of fish and biomass per St. John trap are low, serranid numbers are low, and acanthurid and herbivore numbers are high. The reef-associated fishes of St. John appear to be overexploited.

  6. The Fish Assemblage of a Newfoundland Estuary: Diel, Monthly and Annual Variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Methven, D. A.; Haedrich, R. L.; Rose, G. A.

    2001-06-01

    Twice monthly sampling over two 16 month periods at a shallow site on Newfoundland's east coast showed the fish assemblage to be dominated by four taxa ( Gasterosteus aculeatus, G. wheatlandi, Osmerus mordax, Gadus spp.) that accounted for 96% of the individuals collected. Of the 16 479 fish measured, 65% were adults based on the estimated size of first spawning. The fish assemblage was dominated (86%) by species with demersal eggs, several of which spawn at the same shallow sites used by juveniles as nursery sites. Coastal spawning and demersal eggs maintain offspring in coastal nursery areas where survival is thought to be increased. Number of species and number of fish were both correlated with water temperature being highest from mid-summer to early autumn and lowest in winter. Temperature, time of spawning, and movements of juveniles and adults facilitated grouping species into five assemblages based on seasonal abundance: seasonal periodic species (summer and winter), regular species, regular species collected in all seasons except winter, and occasional (rare) species. At the diel scale, two consistent species groupings were observed: species that showed no significant difference between day and night and species caught primarily at night. Number of night species exceeded day species by a factor of two. No seine-caught species in shallow water exhibited significantly higher catches during the day. Observations by SCUBA divers indicated some species were more abundant during day time at slightly deeper depths. This observation in conjunction with day and night seining in shallower water, suggests these species aggregate in deeper water during day and move to shallow waters at night.

  7. A comparison of resident fish assemblages in managed and unmanaged coastal wetlands in North Carolina and South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Kelly F.; Jennings, Cecil A.

    2014-01-01

    The dominant fish species within impounded coastal wetlands in the southeastern US may be different from the species that dominate natural marshes. We tested the hypothesis that resident fish assemblages inhabiting impounded coastal wetlands in South Carolina would differ from resident assemblages in natural marshes of the southeastern United States. We used rarefied species richness, Shannon's H' diversity,J' evenness, Morisita's index of similarity, and the percent similarity index to compare resident fish assemblages from two impoundments to 12 open-marsh resident fish assemblages from previously published studies in North and South Carolina. We used rotenone to sample fish assemblages in impoundments. The assemblages in natural marsh habitat had been sampled with rotenone and seines. We classified comparisons yielding a similarity index ≥0.50 as moderately similar and those with an index ≥0.75 as very similar. Fifty-three percent of the among-impoundment comparisons (Morisita's index) were at least moderately similar, whereas 7% of impoundment—natural marsh comparisons were moderately similar. A difference in tidal influence was the only parameter in the best-fitting model describing the observed Morisita's indices. The index of similarity decreased by 63% when tidal influence differed between compared assemblages. Species richness and diversity were greater in impoundments than natural marshes, but evenness was similar between habitat types. Our results support the hypothesis that resident fish assemblages in impounded wetlands and natural marshes are different, and suggest that a degree of tidal influence is the most important factor behind the difference.

  8. Consistent nutrient storage and supply mediated by diverse fish communities in coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allgeier, Jacob E; Layman, Craig A; Mumby, Peter J; Rosemond, Amy D

    2014-08-01

    Corals thrive in low nutrient environments and the conservation of these globally imperiled ecosystems is largely dependent on mitigating the effects of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment. However, to better understand the implications of anthropogenic nutrients requires a heightened understanding of baseline nutrient dynamics within these ecosystems. Here, we provide a novel perspective on coral reef nutrient dynamics by examining the role of fish communities in the supply and storage of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). We quantified fish-mediated nutrient storage and supply for 144 species and modeled these data onto 172 fish communities (71 729 individual fish), in four types of coral reefs, as well as seagrass and mangrove ecosystems, throughout the Northern Antilles. Fish communities supplied and stored large quantities of nutrients, with rates varying among ecosystem types. The size structure and diversity of the fish communities best predicted N and P supply and storage and N : P supply, suggesting that alterations to fish communities (e.g., overfishing) will have important implications for nutrient dynamics in these systems. The stoichiometric ratio (N : P) for storage in fish mass (~8 : 1) and supply (~20 : 1) was notably consistent across the four coral reef types (but not seagrass or mangrove ecosystems). Published nutrient enrichment studies on corals show that deviations from this N : P supply ratio may be associated with poor coral fitness, providing qualitative support for the hypothesis that corals and their symbionts may be adapted to specific ratios of nutrient supply. Consumer nutrient stoichiometry provides a baseline from which to better understand nutrient dynamics in coral reef and other coastal ecosystems, information that is greatly needed if we are to implement more effective measures to ensure the future health of the world's oceans. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Modeling Reef Fish Biomass, Recovery Potential, and Management Priorities in the Western Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, Timothy R; Maina, Joseph M; Graham, Nicholas A J; Jones, Kendall R

    2016-01-01

    Fish biomass is a primary driver of coral reef ecosystem services and has high sensitivity to human disturbances, particularly fishing. Estimates of fish biomass, their spatial distribution, and recovery potential are important for evaluating reef status and crucial for setting management targets. Here we modeled fish biomass estimates across all reefs of the western Indian Ocean using key variables that predicted the empirical data collected from 337 sites. These variables were used to create biomass and recovery time maps to prioritize spatially explicit conservation actions. The resultant fish biomass map showed high variability ranging from ~15 to 2900 kg/ha, primarily driven by human populations, distance to markets, and fisheries management restrictions. Lastly, we assembled data based on the age of fisheries closures and showed that biomass takes ~ 25 years to recover to typical equilibrium values of ~1200 kg/ha. The recovery times to biomass levels for sustainable fishing yields, maximum diversity, and ecosystem stability or conservation targets once fishing is suspended was modeled to estimate temporal costs of restrictions. The mean time to recovery for the whole region to the conservation target was 8.1(± 3SD) years, while recovery to sustainable fishing thresholds was between 0.5 and 4 years, but with high spatial variation. Recovery prioritization scenario models included one where local governance prioritized recovery of degraded reefs and two that prioritized minimizing recovery time, where countries either operated independently or collaborated. The regional collaboration scenario selected remote areas for conservation with uneven national responsibilities and spatial coverage, which could undermine collaboration. There is the potential to achieve sustainable fisheries within a decade by promoting these pathways according to their social-ecological suitability.

  10. Reproduction of a fish assemblage in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LM. Gomiero

    Full Text Available Fish reproductions were studied in two river basins (Corumbataí and Jacaré-Pepira basins in the State of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. In the Corumbataí basin, four sites were sampled: Cabeça River, Lapa Stream, Passa-Cinco River, and Corumbataí River; in the Jacaré-Pepira basin, three sites were sampled: Tamanduá Stream, Jacaré-Pepira River, and Água Branca Stream. A total of 12 bimonthly samples were made. Fish equipment included gill nets, purse seines, sieves, and traps. The main objective of this study was to characterize the fish assemblage regarding their reproductive biology and to compare these reproductive traits between both river basins. Most individuals with gonads in stage C (mature and in stage D (empty gonads were captured in the spring and summer. Multiple spawn and parental care were common strategies, which guaranteed offspring survivorship in unstable conditions.

  11. Assemblage patterns of fish functional groups relative to habitat connectivity and conditions in floodplain lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazono, S.; Aycock, J.N.; Miranda, L.E.; Tietjen, T.E.

    2010-01-01

    We evaluated the influences of habitat connectivity and local environmental factors on the distribution and abundance patterns of fish functional groups in 17 floodplain lakes in the Yazoo River Basin, USA. The results of univariate and multivariate analyses showed that species-environmental relationships varied with the functional groups. Species richness and assemblage structure of periodic strategists showed strong and positive correlations with habitat connectivity. Densities of most equilibrium and opportunistic strategists decreased with habitat connectivity. Densities of certain equilibrium and opportunistic strategists increased with turbidity. Forested wetlands around the lakes were positively related to the densities of periodic and equilibrium strategists. These results suggest that decreases in habitat connectivity, forested wetland buffers and water quality resulting from environmental manipulations may cause local extinction of certain fish taxa and accelerate the dominance of tolerant fishes in floodplain lakes. ?? 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  12. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data at Jarvis Island from 2016-05-16 to 2016-05-22 (NCEI Accession 0157594)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Surveys were conducted in the course of a reef fish survey cruise conducted by the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) at the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries...

  13. Biogeographic Patterns of Reef Fish Communities in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roberts, May B.

    2014-12-01

    As a region renowned for high biodiversity, endemism and extreme temperature and salinity levels, the Red Sea is of high ecological interest. Despite this, there is relatively little literature on basic broad scale characteristics of the biodiversity or overall reef fish communities and how they change across latitude. We conducted visual transects recording the abundance of over 200 species of fish from 45 reefs spanning over 1000 km of Saudi Arabian coastline and used hierarchical cluster analysis to find that for combined depths from 0m-10m across this geographical range, the reef fish communities are relatively similar. However we find some interesting patterns both at the community level across depth and latitude as well as in endemic community distributions. We find that the communities, much like the environmental factors, shift gradually along latitude but do not show distinct clusters within the range we surveyed (from Al-Wajh in the north to the Farasan Banks in the south). Numbers of endemic species tend to be higher in the Thuwal region and further south. This type of baseline data on reef fish distribution and possible factors that may influence their ranges in the Red Sea are critical for future scientific studies as well as effective monitoring and in the face of the persistent anthropogenic influences such as coastal development, overfishing and climate change.

  14. Adapt, move or die - how will tropical coral reef fishes cope with ocean warming?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habary, Adam; Johansen, Jacob L.; Nay, Tiffany J.

    2017-01-01

    poleward, away from ocean warming hotspots where temperatures 2-3 °C above long-term annual means can compromise critical physiological processes. We examined the capacity of a model species - a thermally sensitive coral reef fish, Chromis viridis (Pomacentridae) - to use preference behaviour to regulate...

  15. Seasonal and spatial variations in fish and macrocrustacean assemblage structure in Mad Island Marsh estuary, Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akin, S.; Winemiller, K. O.; Gelwick, F. P.

    2003-05-01

    Fish and macrocrustacean assemblage structure was analyzed along an estuarine gradient at Mad Island Marsh (MIM), Matagorda Bay, TX, during March 1998-August 1999. Eight estuarine-dependent fish species accounted for 94% of the individual fishes collected, and three species accounted for 96% of macrocrustacean abundance. Consistent with evidence from other Gulf of Mexico estuarine studies, species richness and abundance were highest during late spring and summer, and lowest during winter and early spring. Sites near the bay supported the most individuals and species. Associations between fish abundance and environmental variables were examined with canonical correspondence analysis. The dominant gradient was associated with water depth and distance from the bay. The secondary gradient reflected seasonal variation and was associated with temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and vegetation cover. At the scales examined, estuarine biota responded to seasonal variation more than spatial variation. Estuarine-dependent species dominated the fauna and were common throughout the open waters of the shallow lake during winter-early spring when water temperature and salinity were low and dissolved oxygen high. During summer-early fall, sub-optimal environmental conditions (high temperature, low DO) in upper reaches accounted for strong spatial variation in assemblage composition. Small estuarine-resident fishes and the blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus) were common in warm, shallow, vegetated inland sites during summer-fall. Estuarine-dependent species were common at deeper, more saline locations near the bay during this period. During summer, freshwater species, such as gizzard shad ( Dorosoma cepedianum) and gars ( Lepisosteus spp.), were positively associated with water depth and proximity to the bay. The distribution and abundance of fishes in MIM appear to result from the combined effects of endogenous, seasonal patterns of reproduction and migration operating on large

  16. Sponge assemblage of some Upper Permian reef limestones from Phrae province (Northern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baba Senowbari-Daryan

    1994-12-01

    Full Text Available The sponge fauna of uppermost Permian reef or reefal limestones of the Phrae province in northern Thailand include representatives of hexactinellida, sclerospongea,"sphinctozoans", and "inozoans". The "sphinctozoans" and "inozoans"are described in detail. Following taxa are new:"Sphinctozoans": Phraethalamia tubulara n. gen., n. sp., Ambithalamia pérmican. gen., n. sp."Inozoans": Bisiphonella tubulara n. sp., Solutossaspongia crassimuralis n.gen., n. sp.The genus name Belyaevaspongia nom. nov. is proposed for PolysiphonellaBelyaeva, 1991 (in Boiko et al., 1991, non Polysiphonella Russo, 1981.

  17. The evolution of fishes and corals on reefs: form, function and interdependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellwood, David R; Goatley, Christopher H R; Bellwood, Orpha

    2017-05-01

    Coral reefs are renowned for their spectacular biodiversity and the close links between fishes and corals. Despite extensive fossil records and common biogeographic histories, the evolution of these two key groups has rarely been considered together. We therefore examine recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and palaeoecology, and place the evolution of fishes and corals in a functional context. In critically reviewing the available fossil and phylogenetic evidence, we reveal a marked congruence in the evolution of the two groups. Despite one group consisting of swimming vertebrates and the other colonial symbiotic invertebrates, fishes and corals have remarkably similar evolutionary histories. In the Paleocene and Eocene [66-34 million years ago (Ma)] most modern fish and coral families were present, and both were represented by a wide range of functional morphotypes. However, there is little evidence of diversification at this time. By contrast, in the Oligocene and Miocene (34-5.3 Ma), both groups exhibited rapid lineage diversification. There is also evidence of increasing reef area, occupation of new habitats, increasing coral cover, and potentially, increasing fish abundance. Functionally, the Oligocene-Miocene is marked by the appearance of new fish and coral taxa associated with high-turnover fast-growth ecosystems and the colonization of reef flats. It is in this period that the functional characteristics of modern coral reefs were established. Most species, however, only arose in the last 5.3 million years (Myr; Plio-Pleistocene), with the average age of fish species being 5.3 Myr, and corals just 1.9 Myr. While these species are genetically distinct, phenotypic differences are often limited to variation in colour or minor morphological features. This suggests that the rapid increase in biodiversity during the last 5.3 Myr was not matched by changes in ecosystem function. For reef fishes, colour appears to be central to recent

  18. Patterns of fish diversity and assemblage structure and water quality in the longest Asian tropical river (Mekong)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chea, R.; Lek, S.; Grenouillet, G.

    2016-12-01

    Although the Mekong River is one of the world's 35 biodiversity hotspots, the large-scale patterns of fish diversity and assemblage structure remain poorly addressed. The present study aimed to investigate the spatial variability of water quality in the Lower Mekong Basin and the fish distribution patterns in the Lower Mekong River (LMR) and to identify their environmental determinants. Daily fish catch data at 38 sites distributed along the LMR were related to 15 physicochemical and 19 climatic variables. As a result, four different clusters were defined according to the similarity in assemblage composition and 80 indicator species were identified. While fish species richness was highest in the Mekong delta and lowest in the upper part of the LMR, the diversity index was highest in the middle part of the LMR and lowest in the delta. We found that fish assemblages changed along the environmental gradients and that the main drivers affecting the fish assemblage structure were the seasonal variation of temperature, precipitation, dissolved oxygen, pH, and total phosphorus. Specifically, upstream assemblages were characterized by cyprinids and Pangasius catfish, well suited to low temperature, high dissolved oxygen and high pH. Fish assemblages in the delta were dominated by perch-like fish and clupeids, more tolerant to high temperatures, and high levels of nutrients (nitrates and total phosphorus) and salinity. Overall, the patterns were consistent between seasons. Our study contributes to establishing the first holistic fish community study in the LMR. Overall of the LMR water quality, we found that the water in the mainstream was less polluted than its tributaries; eutrophication and salinity could be key factors affecting water quality in LMR. Moreover, the seasonal variation of water quality seemed to be less marked than spatial variation occurring along the longitudinal gradient of Mekong River. Significant degradations were mainly associated with human

  19. Potential population and assemblage influences of non-native trout on native nongame fish in Nebraska headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turek, Kelly C.; Pegg, Mark A.; Pope, Kevin L.; Schainost, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Non-native trout are currently stocked to support recreational fisheries in headwater streams throughout Nebraska. The influence of non-native trout introductions on native fish populations and their role in structuring fish assemblages in these systems is unknown. The objectives of this study were to determine (i) if the size structure or relative abundance of native fish differs in the presence and absence of non-native trout, (ii) if native fish-assemblage structure differs in the presence and absence of non-native trout and (iii) if native fish-assemblage structure differs across a gradient in abundances of non-native trout. Longnose dace Rhinichthys cataractae were larger in the presence of brown trout Salmo trutta and smaller in the presence of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss compared to sites without trout. There was also a greater proportion of larger white suckers Catostomus commersonii in the presence of brown trout. Creek chub Semotilus atromaculatus and fathead minnow Pimephales promelas size structures were similar in the presence and absence of trout. Relative abundances of longnose dace, white sucker, creek chub and fathead minnow were similar in the presence and absence of trout, but there was greater distinction in native fish-assemblage structure between sites with trout compared to sites without trout as trout abundances increased. These results suggest increased risk to native fish assemblages in sites with high abundances of trout. However, more research is needed to determine the role of non-native trout in structuring native fish assemblages in streams, and the mechanisms through which introduced trout may influence native fish populations.

  20. Fish assemblages and diversity in three tributaries of the Irrawaddy River in China: changes, threats and conservation perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang M.-L.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Incompletely known fish assemblages and species diversity are substantial obstacles in fish conservation, particularly when their aquatic habitats are under threat due to rapid human-induced changes. Fish assemblages and diversity in three tributaries of the upper Irrawaddy River in China (the Dulong, Daying and Ruili rivers were examined based on field collections and literature resources. The newly compiled fish assemblage recorded 85 species (in 8 orders, 20 families and 51 genera distributed in the upper Irrawaddy. The fish compositions in the Daying (67 species, 44 genera, 19 families, 7 orders and Ruili rivers (65 species, 44 genera, 19 families, 8 orders were more similar to each other and more speciose than that in the Dulong River (14 species, 10 genera, 4 families, 3 orders. Two indices of taxonomic diversity (the average taxonomic distinctness (Δ+, and the variation in taxonomic distinctness (Λ+ were used to discriminate four collections spanning a ten-year period. A decrease in taxonomic diversity and an increase in unevenness of the fish assemblages were found in both the Daying River and Ruili rivers, which indicated that the impacts were accumulated gradually during this decade, when dams and the spread of non-native species were major threats. Comparatively speaking, the Dulong River is still in a near-natural state, and thus the fish community has experienced less disturbance. In situ conservation (nature reserves and tributary protection and ex situ conservation (artificial propagation and release should be combined and managed to promote fish conservation in the future.

  1. Effects of fisheries closures and gear restrictions on fishing income in a Kenyan coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, Timothy R

    2010-12-01

    The adoption of fisheries closures and gear restrictions in the conservation of coral reefs may be limited by poor understanding of the economic profitability of competing economic uses of marine resources. Over the past 12 years, I evaluated the effects of gear regulation and fisheries closures on per person and per area incomes from fishing in coral reefs of Kenya. In two of my study areas, the use of small-meshed beach seines was stopped after 6 years; one of these areas was next to a fishery closure. In my third study area, fishing was unregulated. Fishing yields on per capita daily wet weight basis were 20% higher after seine-net fishing was stopped. The per person daily fishing income adjacent to the closed areas was 14 and 22% higher than the fishing income at areas with only gear restrictions before and after the seine-net restriction, respectively. Incomes differed because larger fish were captured next to the closed area and the price per weight (kilograms) increased as fish size increased and because catches adjacent to the closure contained fish species of higher market value. Per capita incomes were 41 and 135% higher for those who fished in gear-restricted areas and near-closed areas, respectively, compared with those who fished areas with no restrictions. On a per unit area basis (square kilometers), differences in fishing income among the three areas were not large because fishing effort increased as the number of restrictions decreased. Changes in catch were, however, larger and often in the opposite direction expected from changes in effort alone. For example, effort declined 21% but nominal profits per square kilometer (not accounting for inflation) increased 29% near the area with gear restrictions. Gear restrictions also reduced the cost of fishing and increased the proportion of self-employed fishers. © 2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the U.S. Pacific Reefs from 2008-01-27 to 2012-09-13 (NCEI Accession 0162472)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (nSPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  3. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data at Coral Reef Sites across the Pacific Ocean from 2008 to 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (nSPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  4. Density-dependent habitat selection and performance by a large mobile reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindberg, William J; Frazer, Thomas K; Portier, Kenneth M; Vose, Frederic; Loftin, James; Murie, Debra J; Mason, Doran M; Nagy, Brian; Hart, Mary K

    2006-04-01

    Many exploited reef fish are vulnerable to overfishing because they concentrate over hard-bottom patchy habitats. How mobile reef fish use patchy habitat, and the potential consequences on demographic parameters, must be known for spatially explicit population dynamics modeling, for discriminating essential fish habitat (EFH), and for effectively planning conservation measures (e.g., marine protected areas, stock enhancement, and artificial reefs). Gag, Mycteroperca microlepis, is an ecologically and economically important warm-temperate grouper in the southeastern United States, with behavioral and life history traits conducive to large-scale field experiments. The Suwannee Regional Reef System (SRRS) was built of standard habitat units (SHUs) in 1991-1993 to manipulate and control habitat patchiness and intrinsic habitat quality, and thereby test predictions from habitat selection theory. Colonization of the SRRS by gag over the first six years showed significant interactions of SHU size, spacing, and reef age; with trajectories modeled using a quadratic function for closely spaced SHUs (25 m) and a linear model for widely spaced SHUs (225 m), with larger SHUs (16 standardized cubes) accumulating significantly more gag faster than smaller 4-cube SHUs (mean = 72.5 gag/16-cube SHU at 225-m spacing by year 6, compared to 24.2 gag/4-cube SHU for same spacing and reef age). Residency times (mean = 9.8 mo), indicative of choice and measured by ultrasonic telemetry (1995-1998), showed significant interaction of SHU size and spacing consistent with colonization trajectories. Average relative weight (W(r)) and incremental growth were greater on smaller than larger SHUs (mean W(r) = 104.2 vs. 97.7; incremental growth differed by 15%), contrary to patterns of abundance and residency. Experimental manipulation of shelter on a subset of SRRS sites (2000-2001) confirmed our hypothesis that shelter limits local densities of gag, which, in turn, regulates their growth and

  5. Predictive models for fish assemblages in eastern USA streams: implications for assessing biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meador, Michael R.; Carlisle, Daren M.

    2009-01-01

    Management and conservation of aquatic systems require the ability to assess biological conditions and identify changes in biodiversity. Predictive models for fish assemblages were constructed to assess biological condition and changes in biodiversity for streams sampled in the eastern United States as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment Program. Separate predictive models were developed for northern and southern regions. Reference sites were designated using land cover and local professional judgment. Taxonomic completeness was quantified based on the ratio of the number of observed native fish species expected to occur to the number of expected native fish species. Models for both regions accurately predicted fish species composition at reference sites with relatively high precision and low bias. In general, species that occurred less frequently than expected (decreasers) tended to prefer riffle areas and larger substrates, such as gravel and cobble, whereas increaser species (occurring more frequently than expected) tended to prefer pools, backwater areas, and vegetated and sand substrates. In the north, the percentage of species identified as increasers and the percentage identified as decreasers were equal, whereas in the south nearly two-thirds of the species examined were identified as decreasers. Predictive models of fish species can provide a standardized indicator for consistent assessments of biological condition at varying spatial scales and critical information for an improved understanding of fish species that are potentially at risk of loss with changing water quality conditions.

  6. The post-larval and juvenile fish assemblage in the Sukhothai floodplain, Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siriwan, Suksri; Boonsatien, Boonsoong

    2017-06-01

    This study investigated abundance, species composition and spatial and temporal distributions of fish larvae and their relationship with some environmental variables in the Sukhothai floodplain in northern Thailand. Fish larvae were collected from 33 sampling stations on 8 occasions between August 2010 and October 2013. The study collected and identified 149 296 individuals, representing 32 families and 165 taxa. The species composition of larval fish was dominated by the Cyprinidae (47.27%), Cobitidae (7.88%), Siluridae (6.67%), Bagridae (6.06%) and Mastacembelidae (3.33%) families. The most-abundant larval species were the Striped flying barb Esomus metallicus (16.90%), the Siamese mud carp Henicorhynchus siamensis (8.48%) and the Sumatran river sprat Clupeichthys goniognathus (8.31%). The greatest abundance and species diversity of larvae were found when the river flow runs onto the floodplain. PCA and nMDS analysis revealed that the samples plot is associated with temporal distribution among years. The discharge was a major factor determining fish larvae assemblage and environmental variables in the Sukhothai floodplain. Four fish larval species were positively correlated with the samples for 2013. The result of the CCA ordination plot showed that only the discharge variable was strongly correlated with fish larvae abundance, especially two cyprinid Rasbora species.

  7. Metrics derived from fish assemblages as indicators of environmental degradation in Cerrado streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milton P. Ávila

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The development of effective monitoring tools depends on finding sensitive metrics that are capable of detecting the most important environmental impacts at a given region. We assessed if metrics derived from stream fish assemblages reflect physical habitat degradation and changes in land cover. We sampled the ichthyofauna and environmental characteristics of 16 stream sites of first and second order in the Upper Tocantins River basin. The streams were classified according to their environmental characteristics into reference (n = 5, intermediate (n = 4, and impacted (n = 7. A total of 4,079 individuals in five orders, 12 families, and 30 species were collected. Of the 20 metrics tested, eight were non-collinear and were tested for their performance in discriminating among groups of streams. Three metrics were sensitive to the gradient of degradation: Berger-Parker dominance index, percentage of characiform fish, and percentage of rheophilic individuals. Some commonly used metrics did not reflect the disturbances and many others were redundant with those that did. These results indicate that the metrics derived from fish assemblages may be informative for identifying the conservation status of streams, with the potential to be used in biomonitoring.

  8. Seasonal variation of assemblage and feeding guild structure of fish species in a boreal tidal basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellnreitner, Florian; Pockberger, Moritz; Asmus, Harald

    2012-08-01

    Species composition, abundance, feeding relationships and guild structure of the fish assemblage in the Sylt-Rømø bight, a tidal basin in the northern Wadden Sea, were investigated to show seasonal differences and the importance of functional groups in this area. The tidal flats and in shallow subtidal areas were sampled using a beach seine and a bottom trawl net was used for deeper subtidal areas and tidal gullies. Species richness of fish was highest in summer where 26 species were caught, while the lowest richness was recorded in winter (17 species). Clear differences in species richness and abundance were found between shallow areas and deeper parts of the bight. Clupea harengus and Ammodytes tobianus were the most abundant species in deeper areas, while Pomatoschistus microps and Pomatoschistus minutus dominated shallower waters. Gut contents of 27 fish species were identified and the guild structure analyzed by UPGMA clustering of niche overlaps. Calanoid copepods (19.9%), Crangon crangon (18.2%) and mysid shrimps (8.4%) were the most abundant prey items of all fish species combined. Seven feeding guilds were present in the fall and winter, and eight and six in spring and summer, respectively. Fish feeding on calanoid copepods and C. crangon were present year round, whereas the occurrence of other guilds varied between seasons. Species composition of prey changed through seasons and, for some fish species, even the feeding mode itself varied with season. Most noticeable, 11 fish species changed guilds between seasons. We found a convergence in summer towards abundant prey items, whereas in winter diet overlap was lower. This is the first investigation of guild structure of almost all fish species present in a Wadden Sea area, and shows that consideration of seasonal differences is essential when determining feeding relationships of fish in temperate areas.

  9. ?How? and ?what? matters: Sampling method affects biodiversity estimates of reef fishes

    OpenAIRE

    Bosch, N?stor E.; Gon?alves, Jorge M. S.; Erzini, Karim; Tuya, Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Understanding changes in biodiversity requires the implementation of monitoring programs encompassing different dimensions of biodiversity through varying sampling techniques. In this work, fish assemblages associated with the ?outer? and ?inner? sides of four marinas, two at the Canary Islands and two at southern Portugal, were investigated using three complementary sampling techniques: underwater visual censuses (UVCs), baited cameras (BCs), and fish traps (FTs). We firstly investi...

  10. The abundance of herbivorous fish on an inshore Red Sea reef following a mass coral bleaching event

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.

    2013-01-08

    A healthy herbivore community is critical for the ability of a reef to resist and recover from severe disturbances and to regain lost coral cover (i.e., resilience). The densities of the two major herbivorous fish groups (the family Acanthuridae and scarine labrids) were comparatively studied for an inshore reef that was severely impacted by a mass coral bleaching event in 2010 and an unaffected reef within the same region. Densities were found to be significantly higher on the affected reef, most likely due to the high algal densities on that reef. However, densities of herbivores on both reefs were found to be on average about 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than previously published reports from some Pacific reefs and from Red Sea reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba and only slightly higher than Caribbean reefs. Thus, it is predicted that recovery for this reef and similarly affected reefs may be very slow. The protection of herbivores from overfishing and the introduction of other management strategies that maximize reef resilience in Saudi Arabian waters are highly recommended. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

  11. Retention of habitat complexity minimizes disassembly of reef fish communities following disturbance: a large-scale natural experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Emslie

    Full Text Available High biodiversity ecosystems are commonly associated with complex habitats. Coral reefs are highly diverse ecosystems, but are under increasing pressure from numerous stressors, many of which reduce live coral cover and habitat complexity with concomitant effects on other organisms such as reef fishes. While previous studies have highlighted the importance of habitat complexity in structuring reef fish communities, they employed gradient or meta-analyses which lacked a controlled experimental design over broad spatial scales to explicitly separate the influence of live coral cover from overall habitat complexity. Here a natural experiment using a long term (20 year, spatially extensive (∼ 115,000 kms(2 dataset from the Great Barrier Reef revealed the fundamental importance of overall habitat complexity for reef fishes. Reductions of both live coral cover and habitat complexity had substantial impacts on fish communities compared to relatively minor impacts after major reductions in coral cover but not habitat complexity. Where habitat complexity was substantially reduced, species abundances broadly declined and a far greater number of fish species were locally extirpated, including economically important fishes. This resulted in decreased species richness and a loss of diversity within functional groups. Our results suggest that the retention of habitat complexity following disturbances can ameliorate the impacts of coral declines on reef fishes, so preserving their capacity to perform important functional roles essential to reef resilience. These results add to a growing body of evidence about the importance of habitat complexity for reef fishes, and represent the first large-scale examination of this question on the Great Barrier Reef.

  12. Influence of depth on sex-specific energy allocation patterns in a tropical reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoey, J.; McCormick, M. I.; Hoey, A. S.

    2007-09-01

    The effect of depth on the distribution and sex-specific energy allocation patterns of a common coral reef fish, Chrysiptera rollandi (Pomacentridae), was investigated using depth-stratified collections over a broad depth range (5-39 m) and a translocation experiment. C. rollandi consistently selected rubble habitats at each depth, however abundance patterns did not reflect the availability of the preferred microhabitat suggesting a preference for depth as well as microhabitat. Reproductive investment (gonado-somatic index), energy stores (liver cell density and hepatocyte vacuolation), and overall body condition (hepato-somatic index and Fulton’s K) of female fish varied significantly among depths and among the three reefs sampled. Male conspecifics displayed no variation between depth or reef. Depth influenced growth dynamics, with faster initial growth rates and smaller mean asymptotic lengths with decreasing depth. In female fish, relative gonad weight and overall body condition (Fulton’s K and hepato-somatic index) were generally higher in shallower depths (≤10 m). Hepatic lipid storage was highest at the deepest sites sampled on each reef, whereas hepatic glycogen stores tended to decrease with depth. Depth was found to influence energy allocation dynamics in C. rollandi. While it is unclear what processes directly influenced the depth-related patterns in energy allocation, this study shows that individuals across a broad depth gradient are not all in the same physiological state and may contribute differentially to the population reproductive output.

  13. Individual-based analyses reveal limited functional overlap in a coral reef fish community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Bellwood, David R

    2014-05-01

    Detailed knowledge of a species' functional niche is crucial for the study of ecological communities and processes. The extent of niche overlap, functional redundancy and functional complementarity is of particular importance if we are to understand ecosystem processes and their vulnerability to disturbances. Coral reefs are among the most threatened marine systems, and anthropogenic activity is changing the functional composition of reefs. The loss of herbivorous fishes is particularly concerning as the removal of algae is crucial for the growth and survival of corals. Yet, the foraging patterns of the various herbivorous fish species are poorly understood. Using a multidimensional framework, we present novel individual-based analyses of species' realized functional niches, which we apply to a herbivorous coral reef fish community. In calculating niche volumes for 21 species, based on their microhabitat utilization patterns during foraging, and computing functional overlaps, we provide a measurement of functional redundancy or complementarity. Complementarity is the inverse of redundancy and is defined as less than 50% overlap in niche volumes. The analyses reveal extensive complementarity with an average functional overlap of just 15.2%. Furthermore, the analyses divide herbivorous reef fishes into two broad groups. The first group (predominantly surgeonfishes and parrotfishes) comprises species feeding on exposed surfaces and predominantly open reef matrix or sandy substrata, resulting in small niche volumes and extensive complementarity. In contrast, the second group consists of species (predominantly rabbitfishes) that feed over a wider range of microhabitats, penetrating the reef matrix to exploit concealed surfaces of various substratum types. These species show high variation among individuals, leading to large niche volumes, more overlap and less complementarity. These results may have crucial consequences for our understanding of herbivorous processes on

  14. Distribution of fish assemblages in Lajes Reservoir, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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    F. G. ARAÚJO

    Full Text Available Spatial distribution of fish assemblages in Lajes Reservoir, a 30 km² impoundment in Rio de Janeiro State (Lat. 22º42'-22º50'S; Long. 43º53'-44º05'W was assessed to detect patterns of available habitat use by the fish. A standardized monthly sampling program was carried out from January to December 1994 at three zones of the reservoir (upper, near tributary mouths; middle; and lower, near the dam. Fishes were caught by gillnets, (50 m long, 3 m height, with mesh ranging having from 25 to 45 mm between knots, submerged during 12 hours. A total of 5,089 fishes were collected comprising 15 species, 14 genera and 9 families. Loricariichthys spixii, Astyanax bimaculatus, Parauchenipterus striatulus, Astyanax fasciatus parahybae, Oligosarchus hepsetus, Rhamdia parahybae, Hypostomus affinis, and Geophagus brasiliensis were the most abundant species, each contributing above 1% of the total number. Loricariichthys spixii was the dominant species, contributing over 80% of total number and biomass. Fish abundance, number of species, and biomass were higher in the upper zone, but differences from this overall pattern were shown by some species. Loricariichthys spixii and Rhamdia parahybae were more abundant in the upper zone, while all other species showed no differences in their abundance among the zones. Seasonal environmental variables of temperature, pH, transparency, and water level did not show a clear association with fish occurrence. Most fish used the different zones of the reservoir with no clear sign of spatial separation. High dominance of L. spixii, reduced abundance of reolific species Leporinus copelandii and Cyphocharax gilberti, and presence of introduced species such as Cichla monoculus and Tilapia rendalli are indications of antropic effects in the fish community.

  15. Longitudinal habitat disruption in Neotropical streams: fish assemblages under the influence of culverts

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    José Roberto Mariano

    Full Text Available This study assessed differences in fish assemblages existing upstream and downstream two types of culverts, one on each of two different Neotropical streams. We analyzed the composition and structure of the ichthyofauna and tested for spatial patterns. Fish sampling was carried out monthly between November 2009 and October 2010 using different fishing gears. We collected 2,220 fish of 33 species; 901 in stretches of the Lopeí stream - circular culvert and 1,310 in stretches of the Pindorama stream - box culvert. Fish abundance was similar in upstream and downstream stretches of the circular culvert, whereas it was slightly higher in the upstream than downstream stretch for the box culvert. Characiformes predominated in the upstream stretch of both culverts. On the other hand, Siluriformes was abundant in the downstream stretch of the circular culvert, with similar abundance in the stretches of the box culvert. Species richness and diversity (Shannon-Weiner Index were higher in the downstream stretch of the circular culvert, but they were similar in both stretches of the box culvert. The most abundant species were Astyanax altiparanae, A. paranae, A. fasciatus, Ancistrus sp., and Hypostomus sp. The last two species were more abundant in the downstream stretch of the circular culvert, and similar in stretches of the box culvert. Our study indicated variations in the species abundance, richness, and diversity between upstream and downstream stretches in particular of the circular culvert in the Lopeí stream, suggesting that fish movements are restrained more intensively in this culvert, especially for Siluriformes. The drop in the circular culvert outlet probably created passage barriers especially for those fish that has no ability to jump, where downstream erosion could lead to culvert perching. Studies on appropriate road crossing design or installation are fundamental whereas improvements in these structures can restore the connectivity of

  16. Effect of the riparian vegetation removal on the trophic network of Neotropical stream fish assemblage

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    Pedro Sartori Manoel

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The study of the diet of fish is an important tool to assess different levels of environmental degradation, since the availability of food in the environment is a key factor for the fish occurrence. The removal of riparian vegetation usually degrades environmental quality, as this vegetation has an important role in providing energy to the ecosystem. This study investigates the effects of the removal of riparian vegetation on the fish assemblage trophic network. The study was carried out in two stretches of a southeastern Brazilian stream, one in a forest fragment and another in a pasture, during the wet and dry seasons of 2014. We analyzed the items consumed by each fish species using the frequency of occurrence and area of each item, which were combined to calculate the alimentary index, which was used to determine the food niche overlap of the fish and the specialization index of the trophic network. Aquatic Hexapoda, vegetal debris and organic matter dominated the trophic network of the two stretches. We detected higher values of food niche overlap in the forested stretch and more complex trophic networks in the pasture stretch. We found few seasonal variations in the items consumed and calculated indices in both stretches studied. The presence of grass on the banks in the pasture stretch and the importation of food resources from the upstream area may have provided a higher diversity of resources and consequently showed a more complex trophic network when compared to the forested stretch.

  17. Fish assemblages in stream stretches occupied by cattail (Typhaceae, Angiospermae stands in Southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabíola Carla da Rocha

    Full Text Available Macrophytes are a major component of lentic and lotic aquatic ecosystems. As consequences of environmental degradation, species of cattail (genus Typha may become dominant along streams. The purpose of this study was to investigate the structure and feeding of fish assemblages in stream stretches under influence of Typha sp., also addressing the influences of temporal variation on composition, abundance, biomass, diversity, species richness, and feeding of fish. Six streams (labelled S1-S6 in the upper rio Turvo basin, southeast Brazil, with dense stands of Typha sp. in the instream and riparian habitat, were studied in six campaigns during three central months in both of the dry and wet periods, by using a standardized collection effort. Thirty-seven fish species were registered, totaling 4,228 individuals and 3.9 kg of biomass. Abundance, biomass, diversity, and species richness was higher in the wet period, but only the temporal variation in the species richness revealed to be statistically significant. Cluster analyses with composition and abundance showed little temporal similarity, but indicated two groups of streams (S1-S2-S5 and S3-S4-S6, that were corroborated along the axis 1 of the ordination analysis. Resident species was represented by six species, most of them considered tolerant and generalists. Chironomidae aquatic larvae and detritus were the most important items in the fish diet. These results suggest that the fish populations are opportunistic in exploring stream stretches occupied by cattail.

  18. Can citizen science contribute to fish assemblages monitoring in understudied areas? The case study of Tunisian marine protected areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Lamine, Emna; Di Franco, Antonio; Romdhane, Mohamed Salah; Francour, Patrice

    2018-01-01

    Resource monitoring is a key issue in ecosystem management especially for marine protected areas (MPAs), where information on the composition and structure of fish assemblages is crucial to design a sound management plan. Data on fish assemblage are usually collected using Underwater Visual Censuses (UVC). However, fish assemblages monitoring in MPAs usually calls for considerable resources in terms of costs, time and technical/scientific skills. Financial resources and trained scientific divers may, however, not be available in certain geographical areas, that are thus understudied. Therefore, involving citizen volunteer divers in fish assemblage monitoring and adopting easy-to-use underwater visual census methods could be an effective way to collect crucial data. Citizen science can be used only if it can provide information that is consistent with that collected using standard scientific monitoring. Here, we aim to: 1) compare the consistency of results from a Standard scientific UVC (S-UVC) and an Easy-to-use UVC (E-UVC) method in assessing fish assemblage spatial variability, and 2) test the consistency of data collected by Scientific Divers (SD) and Scientifically-Trained Volunteer divers (STV), using E-UVC. We used, in two consecutive years, three Tunisian future Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and adjacent areas as case studies. E-UVC and S-UVC data were consistent in highlighting the same spatial patterns for the three MPAs (between MPAs and, inside and outside each one). No significant difference was recorded between data collected by SD or STV. Our results suggest that E-UVC can provide information representing simplified proxies for describing fish assemblages and can therefore be a valuable tool for fish monitoring by citizen divers in understudied areas. This evidence could foster citizen science as an effective tool to raise environmental awareness and involve stakeholders in resource management.

  19. Coral reef fish biomass and benthic cover data from Timor-Leste in June 2013 (NCEI Accession 0165354)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral reef fish and benthos were surveyed at 150 shallow-water coral reef sites across the north coast of Timor-Leste and around Atauro Island in June 2013 during a...

  20. Fitness consequences of habitat variability, trophic position, and energy allocation across the depth distribution of a coral-reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, E. D.; D'Alessandro, E. K.; Sponaugle, S.

    2017-09-01

    Environmental clines such as latitude and depth that limit species' distributions may be associated with gradients in habitat suitability that can affect the fitness of an organism. With the global loss of shallow-water photosynthetic coral reefs, mesophotic coral ecosystems ( 30-150 m) may be buffered from some environmental stressors, thereby serving as refuges for a range of organisms including mobile obligate reef dwellers. Yet habitat suitability may be diminished at the depth boundary of photosynthetic coral reefs. We assessed the suitability of coral-reef habitats across the majority of the depth distribution of a common demersal reef fish ( Stegastes partitus) ranging from shallow shelf (SS, restrict foraging. Fish in MP environments had a broader diet niche, higher trophic position, and higher muscle C:N ratios compared to shallower environments. High C:N ratios suggest increased tissue lipid content in fish in MP habitats that coincided with higher investment in reproduction based on gonado-somatic index. These results suggest that peripheral MP reefs are suitable habitats for demersal reef fish and may be important refuges for organisms common on declining shallow coral reefs.

  1. Flat and complex temperate reefs provide similar support for fish: Evidence for a unimodal species-habitat relationship.

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    Avery B Paxton

    Full Text Available Structural complexity, a form of habitat heterogeneity, influences the structure and function of ecological communities, generally supporting increased species density, richness, and diversity. Recent research, however, suggests the most complex habitats may not harbor the highest density of individuals and number of species, especially in areas with elevated human influence. Understanding nuances in relationships between habitat heterogeneity and ecological communities is warranted to guide habitat-focused conservation and management efforts. We conducted fish and structural habitat surveys of thirty warm-temperate reefs on the southeastern US continental shelf to quantify how structural complexity influences fish communities. We found that intermediate complexity maximizes fish abundance on natural and artificial reefs, as well as species richness on natural reefs, challenging the current paradigm that abundance and other fish community metrics increase with increasing complexity. Naturally occurring rocky reefs of flat and complex morphologies supported equivalent abundance, biomass, species richness, and community composition of fishes. For flat and complex morphologies of rocky reefs to receive equal consideration as essential fish habitat (EFH, special attention should be given to detecting pavement type rocky reefs because their ephemeral nature makes them difficult to detect with typical seafloor mapping methods. Artificial reefs of intermediate complexity also maximized fish abundance, but human-made structures composed of low-lying concrete and metal ships differed in community types, with less complex, concrete structures supporting lower numbers of fishes classified largely as demersal species and metal ships protruding into the water column harboring higher numbers of fishes, including more pelagic species. Results of this study are essential to the process of evaluating habitat function provided by different types and shapes of

  2. The importance of sponges and mangroves in supporting fish communities on degraded coral reefs in Caribbean Panama

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    Janina Seemann

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Fish communities associated with coral reefs worldwide are threatened by habitat degradation and overexploitation. We assessed coral reefs, mangrove fringes, and seagrass meadows on the Caribbean coast of Panama to explore the influences of their proximity to one another, habitat cover, and environmental characteristics in sustaining biomass, species richness and trophic structure of fish communities in a degraded tropical ecosystem. We found 94% of all fish across all habitat types were of small body size (≤10 cm, with communities dominated by fishes that usually live in habitats of low complexity, such as Pomacentridae (damselfishes and Gobiidae (gobies. Total fish biomass was very low, with the trend of small fishes from low trophic levels over-represented, and top predators under-represented, relative to coral reefs elsewhere in the Caribbean. For example, herbivorous fishes comprised 27% of total fish biomass in Panama relative to 10% in the wider Caribbean, and the small parrotfish Scarus iseri comprised 72% of the parrotfish biomass. We found evidence that non-coral biogenic habitats support reef-associated fish communities. In particular, the abundance of sponges on a given reef and proximity of mangroves were found to be important positive correlates of reef fish species richness, biomass, abundance and trophic structure. Our study indicates that a diverse fish community can persist on degraded coral reefs, and that the availability and arrangement within the seascape of other habitat-forming organisms, including sponges and mangroves, is critical to the maintenance of functional processes in such ecosystems.

  3. Behavior of prey links midwater and demersal piscivorous reef fishes

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    Peter J. Auster

    Full Text Available Pelagic and demersal guilds of piscivorous fishes are linked by a variety of biological and physical processes that mediate interactions with common prey species. Understanding the behaviors of predators and prey can provide insight into the conditions that make such linkages possible. Here we report on the behaviors of mid-water piscivorous fishes and the responses of prey that produce feeding opportunities for demersal piscivorous fishes associated with "live bottom" ledge habitats off the coast of Georgia (northwest Atlantic Ocean. Prey taxa reduced nearest neighbor distances and retreated towards the seafloor during predatory attacks by mid-water fishes. Demersal fishes subsequently attacked and consumed prey in these ephemeral high density patches. No predation by demersal fishes was observed when prey species were at background densities. If the predator-prey interactions of demersal piscivorous fishes are commonly mediated by the predatory behavior of midwater piscivorous fishes and their prey, such indirect facilitative behaviors may be important in terms of the population processes (e.g., prey consumption and growth rates of these demersal fishes.

  4. Environmental Influences on the Fish Assemblage of the Humber Estuary, U.K.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, S.; Elliott, M.

    1998-02-01

    Salinity, temperature, turbidity and dissolved oxygen were measured in conjunction with a series of fish samples taken by a 2 m beam trawl from 14 sites throughout the Humber estuary, U.K., over the period April 1992 to November 1994. Sediment type was not measured as the literature indicates that the area is homogeneous. The influences of environmental factors and the characteristics of the fish assemblage were analysed using a range of multivariate techniques, including two-way indicator species analysis, canonical correspondence analysis, principal components analysis and Spearman rank correlation. The analyses indicate that salinity is the dominant factor influencing the distribution of the species, with temperature also having a major influence. Of the species examined, whiting (Merlangius merlangus), sole (Solea solea), flounder (Pleuronectes flesus), sprat (Sprattus sprattus) and herring (Clupea harengus) showed a correlation in distribution to temperature, sole, plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), pogge (Agonus cataphractus) and stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) to salinity, and whiting, flounder, pogge and stickleback to dissolved oxygen. Only cod (Gadus morhua) showed a correlation with tidal state, while whiting, pogge and stickleback were correlated to depth. Unlike in some other estuaries, turbidity did not influence the composition of the fish assemblage. Temperature and salinity fluctuations appear to influence different aspects of the community, with temperature proving to be the best predictor of total abundance, while salinity influenced the species richness and total biomass. The analyses demonstrate the most important variables with regard to environmental-biotic interactions, although they also indicate that the variables measured do not account for all of the observed variation in fish biomass and abundance.

  5. Importance of Mangroves, Seagrass Beds and the Shallow Coral Reef as a Nursery for Important Coral Reef Fishes, Using a Visual Census Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, I.; van der Velde, G.; Gorissen, M. W.; Meijer, G. J.; Van't Hof, T.; den Hartog, C.

    2000-07-01

    The nursery function of various biotopes for coral reef fishes was investigated on Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Length and abundance of 16 commercially important reef fish species were determined by means of visual censuses during the day in six different biotopes: mangrove prop-roots ( Rhizophora mangle) and seagrass beds ( Thalassia testudinum) in Lac Bay, and four depth zones on the coral reef (0 to 3 m, 3 to 5 m, 10 to 15 m and 15 to 20 m). The mangroves, seagrass beds and shallow coral reef (0 to 3 m) appeared to be the main nursery biotopes for the juveniles of the selected species. Mutual comparison between biotopes showed that the seagrass beds were the most important nursery biotope for juvenile Haemulon flavolineatum, H. sciurus, Ocyurus chrysurus, Acanthurus chirurgus and Sparisoma viride, the mangroves for juvenile Lutjanus apodus, L. griseus, Sphyraena barracuda and Chaetodon capistratus, and the shallow coral reef for juvenile H. chrysargyreum, L. mahogoni , A. bahianus and Abudefduf saxatilis. Juvenile Acanthurus coeruleus utilized all six biotopes, while juvenile H. carbonarium and Anisotremus surinamensis were not observed in any of the six biotopes. Although fishes showed a clear preference for a specific nursery biotope, most fish species utilized multiple nursery biotopes simultaneously. The almost complete absence of juveniles on the deeper reef zones indicates the high dependence of juveniles on the shallow water biotopes as a nursery. For most fish species an (partial) ontogenetic shift was observed at a particular life stage from their (shallow) nursery biotopes to the (deeper) coral reef. Cluster analyses showed that closely related species within the families Haemulidae, Lutjanidae and Acanthuridae, and the different size classes within species in most cases had a spatial separation in biotope utilization.

  6. Human impacts on functional and taxonomic homogenization of plateau fish assemblages in Yunnan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guohuan Su

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Human activities and the consequent extinctions of native species and invasions of non-native species have been changing the composition of species assemblages worldwide. These anthropogenic impacts alter not only the richness of assemblages but also the biological dissimilarity among them. However, much of the research effort to date has focused on changes in taxonomic dissimilarity (i.e. accounting for species composition whether assessments of functional dissimilarity (i.e. accounting for the diversity of biological traits are much more scarce, despite revealing important complimentary information by accounting for changes in the diversity of biological traits. Here, we assess the temporal (1950s against 2000s changes in both taxonomic and functional dissimilarities of freshwater fish assemblages across lakes from the Yunnan Plateau in China. The Jaccard index to quantify the changes in both taxonomic and functional dissimilarity. We then partitioned dissimilarity to extract its turnover component and measured the changes in the contribution of turnover to dissimilarity. We found that functional and taxonomic homogenization occurred simultaneously. However, patterns between these two processes differed for some lakes. Taxonomic and functional homogenizations were stronger when the historical level of taxonomic dissimilarity among assemblages was high. The impact of extinctions of native species and invasions of non-native species on homogenization was otherwise complex to disentangle with no significant effect of any of the studied environmental factors. In agreement with other studies, our study proved that change in taxonomic dissimilarity cannot be used to predict changes in functional dissimilarity and, as an indicator of ecosystem functioning, functional dissimilarity should be used together with taxonomic dissimilarity to attain a more holistic understanding of human impacts on natural ecosystems.

  7. Understanding Coral Reef Fish Characteristics Using Videogrammetry in Hanauma and Maunalua Bays, Oahu, Hawaii during 2007 (NODC Accession 0042353)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Videogrammetry data taken in 2007 are used for a study of fish within coral reef ecosystems. We attempted to generate or find information on abundance, growth,...

  8. Coral reef fish species survey data GIS from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set consists of an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida...

  9. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program's 2016 Projects that Work Towards Stratefic Goals to Reduce Fishing Impacts on Coral

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2016 the following projects will take place to work towards CRCP's strategic goals to reduce fishing impacts on coral reefs Building GIS Long-term Capacity:...

  10. Long-term stability of tidal and diel-related patterns in mangrove creek fish assemblages in North Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos-Galindo, G. A.; Krumme, U.

    2014-08-01

    Intertidal fish assemblages are thought to respond to tidal and diel rhythms although the assumption that these patterns are stable over long time scales (>1 year) is largely untested. Testing the validity of this assumption is necessary to assess whether short-term temporal patterns, once established, can be extrapolated over time and give a better understanding of the temporal dynamics of fish assemblages in coastal habitats. Here, we compare the fish assemblage structure from two intertidal mangrove creeks in North Brazil (Bragança Peninsula, Caeté estuary) sampled with the same sampling methodology (block nets), effort (two lunar cycles) and design (accounting for the combination of tidal and diel cycle) in the rainy seasons of 1999 and 2012 to evaluate the persistence, stability and recurrence of short-term patterns in the fish community organization. The interaction of tidal and diel cycles (inundations at spring tide-night, spring tide-day, neap tide-night, neap tide-day), found to be stable after 13 years, resulted in recurrent and stable intertidal mangrove fish assemblage compositions. The intertidal mangrove creek fish assemblage consisted of a persistent number of dominant species (seven). However, there were notable changes in fish catch mass, abundance and species dominance between 1999 and 2012. The most severe drought in North Brazil in 30 years, linked to lower precipitation and river runoff in the rainy season of 2012, may have resulted in (1) lower abundance of small juveniles of several dominant species in this assemblage (especially Ariidae - Cathorops agassizii and Sciades herzbergii) and (2) increased dominance of large-sized specimens of the tetraodontid Colomesus psittacus. Our findings highlight: (1) the overriding importance and stability of the interactive pulse of the tidal and diel cycles in determining short-term temporal patterns in intertidal mangrove fish assemblages in neotropical macrotidal estuaries despite the occurrence of

  11. Larval traits carry over to affect post-settlement behaviour in a common coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dingeldein, Andrea L; White, J Wilson

    2016-07-01

    Most reef fishes begin life as planktonic larvae before settling to the reef, metamorphosing and entering the benthic adult population. Different selective forces determine survival in the planktonic and benthic life stages, but traits established in the larval stage may carry over to affect post-settlement performance. We tested the hypothesis that larval traits affect two key post-settlement fish behaviours: social group-joining and foraging. Certain larval traits of reef fishes are permanently recorded in the rings in their otoliths. In the bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum), prior work has shown that key larval traits recorded in otoliths (growth rate, energetic condition at settlement) carry over to affect post-settlement survival on the reef, with higher-larval-condition fish experiencing less post-settlement mortality. We hypothesized that this selective mortality is mediated by carry-over effects on post-settlement antipredator behaviours. We predicted that better-condition fish would forage less and be more likely to join groups, both behaviours that would reduce predation risk. We collected 550 recently settled bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum) from three reef sites off St. Croix (USVI) and performed two analyses. First, we compared each settler's larval traits to the size of its social group to determine whether larval traits influenced group-joining behaviour. Secondly, we observed foraging behaviour in a subset of grouped and solitary fish (n = 14) for 1-4 days post-settlement. We then collected the fish and tested whether larval traits influenced the proportion of time spent foraging. Body length at settlement, but not condition, affected group-joining behaviour; smaller fish were more likely to remain solitary or in smaller groups. However, both greater length and better condition were associated with greater proportions of time spent foraging over four consecutive days post-settlement. Larval traits carry over to affect post

  12. Links between riparian landcover, instream environment and fish assemblages in headwater streams of south-eastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Bruna B.; Miranda, Leandro E.; Cetra, Mauricio

    2013-01-01

    We hypothesised and tested a hierarchical organisation model where riparian landcover would influence bank composition and light availability, which in turn would influence instream environments and control fish assemblages. The study was conducted during the dry season in 11 headwater tributaries of the Sorocaba River in the upper Paraná River Basin, south-eastern Brazil. We focused on seven environmental factors each represented by one or multiple environmental variables and seven fish functional traits each represented by two or more classes. Multivariate direct gradient analyses suggested that riparian zone landcover can be considered a higher level causal factor in a network of relations that control instream characteristics and fish assemblages. Our results provide a framework for a hierarchical conceptual model that identifies singular and collective influences of variables from different scales on each other and ultimately on different aspects related to stream fish functional composition. This conceptual model is focused on the relationships between riparian landcover and instream variables as causal factors on the organisation of stream fish assemblages. Our results can also be viewed as a model for headwater stream management in that landcover can be manipulated to influence factors such as bank composition, substrates and water quality, whereas fish assemblage composition can be used as indicators to monitor the success of such efforts.

  13. Functional redundancy and sensitivity of fish assemblages in European rivers, lakes and estuarine ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teichert, Nils; Lepage, Mario; Sagouis, Alban; Borja, Angel; Chust, Guillem; Ferreira, Maria Teresa; Pasquaud, Stéphanie; Schinegger, Rafaela; Segurado, Pedro; Argillier, Christine

    2017-12-14

    The impact of species loss on ecosystems functioning depends on the amount of trait similarity between species, i.e. functional redundancy, but it is also influenced by the order in which species are lost. Here we investigated redundancy and sensitivity patterns across fish assemblages in lakes, rivers and estuaries. Several scenarios of species extinction were simulated to determine whether the loss of vulnerable species (with high propensity of extinction when facing threats) causes a greater functional alteration than random extinction. Our results indicate that the functional redundancy tended to increase with species richness in lakes and rivers, but not in estuaries. We demonstrated that i) in the three systems, some combinations of functional traits are supported by non-redundant species, ii) rare species in rivers and estuaries support singular functions not shared by dominant species, iii) the loss of vulnerable species can induce greater functional alteration in rivers than in lakes and estuaries. Overall, the functional structure of fish assemblages in rivers is weakly buffered against species extinction because vulnerable species support singular functions. More specifically, a hotspot of functional sensitivity was highlighted in the Iberian Peninsula, which emphasizes the usefulness of quantitative criteria to determine conservation priorities.

  14. Connectedness of land use, nutrients, primary production, and fish assemblages in oxbow lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Leandro E.; Andrews, Caroline S.; Kroger, Robert

    2013-01-01

    We explored the strength of connectedness among hierarchical system components associated with oxbow lakes in the alluvial valley of the Lower Mississippi River. Specifically, we examined the degree of canonical correlation between land use (agriculture and forests), lake morphometry (depth and size), nutrients (total nitrogen and total phosphorus), primary production (chlorophyll-a), and various fish assemblage descriptors. Watershed (p < 0.01) and riparian (p = 0.02) land use, and lake depth (p = 0.05) but not size (p = 0.28), were associated with nutrient concentrations. In turn, nutrients were associated with primary production (p < 0.01), and primary production was associated with sunfish (Centrarchidae) assemblages (p < 0.01) and fish biodiversity (p = 0.08), but not with those of other taxa and functional guilds. Multiple chemical and biological components of oxbow lake ecosystems are connected to landscape characteristics such as land use and lake depth. Therefore, a top-down hierarchical approach can be useful in developing management and conservation plans for oxbow lakes in a region impacted by widespread landscape changes due to agriculture.

  15. Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Reef Fish Spawning ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The spatial patterns among fish families were attributed to a combination of differences in species abundance and distribution as well as variation in fishing effort. Spawning periodicity reported by fishers indicated that for snappers and rabbitfishes, the most activity occurred across a protracted period of October to April/May, ...

  16. Status of Coral Reef Fish Communities within the Mombasa Marine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The abundance, trophic composition and diversity of fish were investigated in the Mombasa Marine Protected Area (MPA) on the Kenya coast over a period of four years (2004-2007) sixteen years after its establishment to determine its effectiveness. Fish monitoring data collected using belt transects revealed significant ...

  17. THE BEHAVIOUR OF REEF-DWELLING SPARID FISHES

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    down movement of the bait caused by swells. It is also believed that dropping anchor will frighten off the fish, and it is a fact that catches usually show a reduction after anchoring. The bite of the two size groups is also different, the younger fish ...

  18. Human activities as a driver of spatial variation in the trophic structure of fish communities on Pacific coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppert, Jonathan L W; Vigliola, Laurent; Kulbicki, Michel; Labrosse, Pierre; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Meekan, Mark G

    2018-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities such as land-use change, pollution and fishing impact the trophic structure of coral reef fishes, which can influence ecosystem health and function. Although these impacts may be ubiquitous, they are not consistent across the tropical Pacific Ocean. Using an extensive database of fish biomass sampled using underwater visual transects on coral reefs, we modelled the impact of human activities on food webs at Pacific-wide and regional (1,000s-10,000s km) scales. We found significantly lower biomass of sharks and carnivores, where there were higher densities of human populations (hereafter referred to as human activity); however, these patterns were not spatially consistent as there were significant differences in the trophic structures of fishes among biogeographic regions. Additionally, we found significant changes in the benthic structure of reef environments, notably a decline in coral cover where there was more human activity. Direct human impacts were the strongest in the upper part of the food web, where we found that in a majority of the Pacific, the biomass of reef sharks and carnivores were significantly and negatively associated with human activity. Finally, although human-induced stressors varied in strength and significance throughout the coral reef food web across the Pacific, socioeconomic variables explained more variation in reef fish trophic structure than habitat variables in a majority of the biogeographic regions. Notably, economic development (measured as GDP per capita) did not guarantee healthy reef ecosystems (high coral cover and greater fish biomass). Our results indicate that human activities are significantly shaping patterns of trophic structure of reef fishes in a spatially nonuniform manner across the Pacific Ocean, by altering processes that organize communities in both "top-down" (fishing of predators) and "bottom-up" (degradation of benthic communities) contexts. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. A meta-analysis approach to the effects of fish farming on soft bottom polychaeta assemblages in temperate regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez-Garcia, Elena; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Aguado-Giménez, Felipe; Ávila, Pablo; Guerrero, Alejandro; Sánchez-Lizaso, Jose Luis; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Victoria; González, Nieves; Gairin, Joan Ignasi; Carballeira, Carlos; García-García, Benjamín; Carreras, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► This study was carried out in ten fish farms along the Spanish coast. ► Fish farm caused a decline in abundance and family richness in polychaete assemblages. ► There are two main groups of polychaeta, sensitive families and tolerant families. ► The main influence is associated to percentage of silt and clays. ► Total free sulfides, silt and clays and 15 N, have influence on polychaete populations. -- Abstract: Marine fish farms could cause environmental disturbances on the sediment due to uneaten food and fish faeces that impact the marine benthos. Polychaete assemblages are considered good indicators of environmental perturbations. The present study aimed to establish groups of polychaetes as potential indicators of fish farm pollution. This study was carried out in ten fish farms along the Spanish coast. Changes in polychaete assemblage were analyzed with meta-analysis and multivariate techniques. Abundance, richness and diversity showed significant decreases under fish farm conditions. Distribution patterns of polychaetes responded to combinations of physicochemical variables. The main ones are sulfide concentration, silt and clays percentage, and stable nitrogen isotope ratio. The results showed that some families are tolerant, Capitellidae, Dorvilleidae, Glyceridae, Nereididae, Oweniidae and Spionidae; while others are sensitive to fish farm pollution, Magelonidae, Maldanidae, Nephtyidae, Onuphidae, Paralacydoniidae, Paraonide, Sabellidae and also Cirratulidae in spite of being reported as a tolerant family

  20. A review of the influence of biogeography, riverine linkages, and marine connectivity on fish assemblages in evolving lagoons and lakes of coastal southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Whitfield, AK

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available lakes), elements of the marine fish assemblage have persisted, especially the presence of facultative catadromous species. Freshwater fish diversity in coastal lakes and lagoons is a function of historical and present biogeography and salinity. From a...

  1. Does herbivorous fish protection really improve coral reef resilience? A case study from new caledonia (South Pacific).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carassou, Laure; Léopold, Marc; Guillemot, Nicolas; Wantiez, Laurent; Kulbicki, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Parts of coral reefs from New Caledonia (South Pacific) were registered at the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008. Management strategies aiming at preserving the exceptional ecological value of these reefs in the context of climate change are currently being considered. This study evaluates the appropriateness of an exclusive fishing ban of herbivorous fish as a strategy to enhance coral reef resilience to hurricanes and bleaching in the UNESCO-registered areas of New Caledonia. A two-phase approach was developed: 1) coral, macroalgal, and herbivorous fish communities were examined in four biotopes from 14 reefs submitted to different fishing pressures in New Caledonia, and 2) results from these analyses were challenged in the context of a global synthesis of the relationship between herbivorous fish protection, coral recovery and relative macroalgal development after hurricanes and bleaching. Analyses of New Caledonia data indicated that 1) current fishing pressure only slightly affected herbivorous fish communities in the country, and 2) coral and macroalgal covers remained unrelated, and macroalgal cover was not related to the biomass, density or diversity of macroalgae feeders, whatever the biotope or level of fishing pressure considered. At a global scale, we found no relationship between reef protection status, coral recovery and relative macroalgal development after major climatic events. These results suggest that an exclusive protection of herbivorous fish in New Caledonia is unlikely to improve coral reef resilience to large-scale climatic disturbances, especially in the lightly fished UNESCO-registered areas. More efforts towards the survey and regulation of major chronic stress factors such as mining are rather recommended. In the most heavily fished areas of the country, carnivorous fish and large targeted herbivores may however be monitored as part of a precautionary approach.

  2. The status of coral reefs and associated fishes and invertebrates of commercial importance in Pedro Bank, Jamaica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew W. Bruckner

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The coral reefs located off the north coast of the Jamaican mainland are some of the best and most studied reefs in the world. Coral reefs of Pedro Bank, Jamaica were assessed in March, 2012 as part of the KSLOF Global Reef Expedition using a modified Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA protocol. The main objectives were to: 1 characterize the distribution, structure and health of coral reefs; and 2 evaluate the population status of commercially important reef fishes and invertebrates. This work was conducted to assist in characterizing coral reef habitats within and outside a proposed fishery reserve, and identify other possible conservation zones. Within 20 reefs, live coral cover ranged from 4.9% to 19.2%. Coral communities were dominated by small corals (esp. Agaricia, Porites and Siderastrea although many sites had high abundances of large colonies of Montastraea annularis and M. faveolata, and these were generally in good condition. A single area, within the proposed fishery reserve, had extensive Acropora cervicornis thickets, and several shallow locations had small, but recovering A. palmata stands. Macroalgal cover at all sites was relatively low, with only three sites having greater than 30% cover; crustose coralline algae (CCA was high, with eight sites exceeding 20% cover. Fish biomass at all sites near the Cays was low, with a dominance of herbivores (parrotfish and surgeonfish and a near absence of groupers, snappers and other commercially important species. While parrotfish were the most abundant fish, these were all extremely small (mean size= 12cm; <4% over 29cm, and they were dominated by red band parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum followed by striped parrotfish (Scarus iseri. While coral communities remain in better condition than most coastal reefs in Jamaica, intense fishing pressure using fish traps (main target species: surgeonfish and hookah/spear fishing (main target: parrotfish is of grave concern to the

  3. Effects of nutrient enrichment derived from fish farming activities on macroinvertebrate assemblages in a subtropical region of Hong Kong.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Qin-Feng; Cheung, Kwok-Leung; Cheung, Siu-Gin; Shin, Paul K S

    2005-01-01

    To study the correlation between nutrient enrichment derived from fish farming activities and changes in macrobenthic assemblages, a one-year field study was conducted in Kau Sai Bay marine fish culture zone of Hong Kong. Bimonthly sediment samples were collected at six stations: two at the fish cages, two near the boundary of the fish culture area, and two reference sites further away from the culture area. Sediment physico-chemical characteristics in terms of silt/clay fraction, moisture content, total organic carbon (TOC), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) and total phosphorus (TP) were analyzed. The macrobenthos (>0.5 mm) present in the sediment were sorted, identified and enumerated. On average, TOC, TKN and TP levels at the fish cage stations were 82.8%, 128.5% and 1315.7% higher than those at the reference stations, respectively. As a result, the N:P molar ratio was greatly reduced from 8.75 at the reference stations to 1.83 at the fish cage stations. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that diversity of macrofauna was significantly reduced and community structure differed at the fish cage stations relative to the reference sites. The intermediary stations near the fish culture area showed a transitional state of disturbance. Faunal diversity was negatively correlated with nutrient level, reflecting the adverse impacts of nutrient enrichment derived from fish farming activities on the benthic assemblages. Whilst in subtropical Asia-Pacific trash fish is the major feed for fish culture resulting in a higher nutrient loading and nutrient ratio accumulated in the sediment beneath the fish rafts, the effects of nutrient enrichment on macrobenthic assemblages are comparable to that in temperate waters owing to relatively high sediment metabolism rate and smaller fish culture scale in Hong Kong.

  4. Evaluating the Potential for Marine and Hydrokinetic Devices to Act As Artificial Reefs or Fish Aggregating Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, S.; Nelson, P.

    2016-02-01

    Wave energy converters (WECs) and tidal energy converters (TECs) are only beginning to be deployed along the U.S. West Coast and in Hawai'i, and a better understanding of their ecological effects on fish, particularly on special status fish is needed to facilitate project siting, design and environmental permitting. The structures of WECs and TECs placed on to the seabed, such as anchors and foundations, may function as artificial reefs that attract reef associated fishes, while the midwa